The sour spaghett cocktail is a super refreshing, two-ingredient drink that can be mixed up in (literally!) 1 minute. With sour beer and Aperol, this cocktail is great for camping, BBQs, the beach, or just chilling at home.

Two sour spaghett cocktails on a beige background next to cans of beer, a bottle of Aperol, orange slices, and a bowl of olives.

This is how we’re sipping Aperol this summer: with a frosty sour beer and an orange wedge. Ever since I went to Italy a few years ago, I’ve been all about the Prosecco and a splash of club soda life. But now that I know about the spaghett, life is different and so is my Aperol-sipping habits.

I first heard about the spaghett when it Bon Appetit posted about it a few years ago and it’s been my go-to camping cocktail ever since. It’s everything you need out of a summer drink situation. There are only two essential ingredients in this recipe and you don’t even need a glass to mix it up. Of course, I don’t only sip this when I’m camping, I also love it at BBQs, the beach, or when I’m feeling too lazy to make a fancier drink.

This cocktail is light, citrusy, not-too-sweet, just a little bitter, and great for patio weather. So let’s make one. It’s honestly too hot not to, ya know?

What’s a sour spaghett cocktail?

The spaghett is basically the poor man’s Aperol spritz lol. It’s a cocktail made with Aperol and (typically) light beer. But in this recipe, I’m using a sour beer because I tried it a few weeks ago and immediately became obsessed. There’s something about fruity, tart beer and citrusy, bitter Aperol that’s just so good together! This drink is beyond refreshing and just so lovely for summer sipping.

Where did it originate?

Apparently, the spaghett was created a bartender at Wet City Brewing, a brewery based out of Baltimore. I’m not entirely sure on this, but I have a feeling it’s based on the hobo Negroni, which is light beer mixed with Campari. Anyways, I’ve never been to Wet City Brewing before but considering me and my husband’s favorite thing to do when we go to a new city is check out the local breweries, I’m definitely adding this one to my list!

The two ingredients you’ll need

Plus an optional third ingredient! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sour beer – go for something light and fruity! I typically head over to one of my local breweries and pick up something from their fridge, but any lower-alcohol sour beer will work.
  • Aperol – if you’ve never had Aperol before, it’s an Italian aperitif that has notes of orange, vanilla, and herbs. While a lot of aperitifs are super bitter, Aperol has a nice balance of bitter and sweet.
  • Garnishes – totally optional! The spaghett usually has a twist of fresh lemon, but since we’re using sour beer, I like to just add a wedge of fresh orange or lemon straight to the cocktail for an extra pop of citrus. Martini olives are another fun choice. You can skip this if you want!
A woman's hand pouring beer into a glass in front of a tan wall. The glass is on a white tray next to a bottle of Aperol and orange slices.

Ok, now let’s make one!

Now we just have to pour everything together. When it comes to making a sour spaghett, you have a few options. In a glass, in the can, or for a crowd. Let’s get started!

IN A GLASS

This is my favorite method when I’m at home, because honestly, I just think it’s a little easier to mix up this way. To make the cocktail:

  1. Pour the Aperol into a tall glass (preferably chilled).
  2. Next, pour the sour beer over the Aperol. It might foam up a little but that’s ok! Just let it calm down a bit and use a tall spoon to gently stir everything together.
  3. Lastly, garnish with a slice of orange or lemon if you’d like!

IN THE CAN

If you don’t feel like doing dishes, this option is for you. This is the way I make this cocktail when I’m camping, at the beach, or at a BBQ. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take a few generous sips out of a can (or bottle) of beer.
  2. Add the Aperol and very gently swirl to combine.
  3. Then, finish the drink with a wedge of lemon or orange.

FOR A CROWD

This is one of my go-to cocktails for when I’m having people over! I don’t recommend this cocktail as a make-ahead option because the beer gets flat. Also, it’s so easy that it’s not really necessary to make it ahead in the first place!

Instead, I like to fill a cooler with a variety of beers and place it next to a table with a bottle of Aperol, a bottle of Campari, lemon wedges, and orange wedges. You can also add martini olives if you’re into it. Then, your guests can mix up their own creations at the spaghett bar!

Choosing the right sour beer

The trick to making the best spaghett is choosing the right sour beer. Since this cocktail is meant to be light and refreshing, you want to go with something lower-alcohol. Also, try to find a sour that will complement the flavors in Aperol. Anything with citrus, berry, tropical or melon flavors will be delicious! Unflavored sours are also a good option.

I have tried a few different options, and so far, my favorites have been New Belgium’s Dominga and Sierra Nevada’s Wild Little Thing!

Other beer options

If sours aren’t your thing, you can use other beers in this cocktail! If you go with any of thee options, add a squeeze of lemon to get that tart flavor. Try:

  • Light beer – PBR, Montucky, or the classic, Miller High Life, are all good options.
  • Blonde ale – these are also usually pretty light and refreshing! Go for a blonde ale if you’re picking up something from a local brewery.
  • IPA – definitely go for an IPA that’s not suuuper hoppy. You don’t want to hops to overpower the flavor of the Aperol!

A Campari version

Another version of the spaghett has Campari but it’s more often called a Camparty, Campari Sun, or hobo negroni depending on where you find the recipe. If you prefer Campari over Aperol, the recipe is the same! It’ll just be a bit more bitter and less sweet than the classic spaghett cocktail.

Two sour spaghett cocktails with orange slices on a white marble plate with a tan background. The glasses are next to orange slices, a bowl of olives, and a bottle of Aperol.

More summery drinks

Rosé Sangria with Berries & Lemon
Strawberry Gin Smash with Basil & Elderflower
Watermelon Gin Fizz with Mint
Cocktails in a Can
Blueberry Lemon Vodka Spritz
Sparkling Strawberry Bourbon Lemonade

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The Sour Spaghett Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
This sour spaghett cocktail, made with just 2 ingredients, is refreshing, fruity, tart, and just a little bitter! It's one of my favorite cocktails for camping, BBQs, beach days, or just hanging out on the patio. Plus, you can mix it up in literally one minute!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz sour beer*
  • 1.5 oz Aperol**
  • Orange wedges, lemon wedges, and/or martini olives, for garnish (optional)

Equipment

  • Beer mug or tall glass (preferably chilled), optional

Instructions 

  • To make the spaghett in a glass, add the Aperol to a chilled beer mug or tall glass. Pour in the sour beer (it may foam up just a bit). Using a tall spoon, gently stir the cocktail to combine. Garnish with an orange wedge, lemon wedge, and/or olives, if desired. Enjoy!
  • To make the cocktail in a can or bottle, take a few swigs of the sour beer to make some room. Carefully pour in the Aperol (it may foam up a bit). Garnish with an orange wedge, lemon wedge, and/or olives, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

*Choose a sour beer that is lower-alcohol and has citrus, berry, or fruity notes that will complement the Aperol.
**For a less boozy cocktail, use 1 oz. of Aperol.
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Serving: 1cocktail, Sodium: 6mg, Calcium: 14mg, Sugar: 10g, Potassium: 71mg, Calories: 199kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @serendipitybysaralynn on Instagram!

xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Constant Headache by Joyce Manor