Craving a refreshingly effervescent aperitif to kick off your next outdoor gathering? This herbaceous twist on the classic Hugo Spritz is the perfect bright and bubbly sipper!

Close up of the hugo spritz cocktail with garnish of lime and basil.

Need an irresistibly vibrant cocktail for patio season?

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing spritzy cocktail on a hot day, especially a Hugo basil spritz. Fresh basil adds this incredible summery kick to the usual elderflower and fresh mint. It’s perfect for backyard happy hour and gets rave reviews every time we make it! Hint, it’s as simple as adding fresh basil.

We’ve all enjoyed the classics – from the Italian aperitivo, Aperol spritz, with its bitter orange delight, the Campari spritz, with its vibrant ruby hue, and the limoncello spritz, with its zesty limoncello liqueur. Even ventured into the dark side with a sweet and sour poison apple cocktail, right? But if you’re craving a refreshing twist exploding with summery goodness, look no further than the Hugo Basil Spritz!

What Is a Hugo Basil Spritz? 

Have you heard about the Hugo spritz? This elderflower cocktail appeared in Northern Italy in the early 2000s, and everyone went crazy for it. The bartender responsible for this classic cocktail is Roland Gruber. He created it as a lighter twist on the classic aperol spritz. 

This Hugo basil spritz is slightly different from a traditional Hugo spritz recipe. Instead of a mint sprig, we used basil. It gives the drink a more savory flavor but still keeps things fresh.

Then, we add elderflower syrup, club soda, a slice of lime, a splash of Prosecco, and plenty of ice for the ultimate refreshing libation. It’s like a summer day captured in a glass – sweet, light, and oh-so-refreshing!

Backlit light bright hugo spritz cocktail.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • LIGHT & REFRESHING – If you’re craving a summer drink that’s light and bubbly but still bursting with flavor, then the Hugo basil spritz is your new best friend. The elderflower syrup adds a touch of sweetness, balanced perfectly by the fresh lime and the gentle fizz. The beautiful green basil leaves make it a feast for the eyes!
  • EASY & IMPRESSIVE – Don’t let the fancy name fool you – this cocktail is surprisingly easy to make at home. With just a few ingredients and a quick muddle of the basil, you’ll be sipping on a restaurant-quality drink in no time. 

What You Need to Make a Hugo Spritz with Basil

  • Elderflower syrup: Elderflower liqueur or syrup adds this beautiful floral, almost perfume-like sweetness. It’s what makes the drink so refreshing and unique. 
  • Champagne or Prosecco: We gotta have some bubbles, right? The champagne or prosecco adds a fun fizz to the drink, making it light and playful on the tongue. It also cuts through the sweetness of the elderflower syrup perfectly.
  • Soda water to top it off: This one’s pretty straightforward. The soda water tops up the drink and gives it an extra layer of refreshment with its gentle fizz. It also helps create a low-alcohol cocktail, perfect for those hot summer days.
  • Fresh Basil: Ah, here’s the twist! Fresh basil is what takes this Hugo Spritz to a whole new level. The fragrant basil leaves add this unique herbal note that beautifully complements the floral sweetness of the elderflower syrup.
  • Lime slices: These aren’t just for decoration. The lime adds a touch of tartness that helps balance out the sweetness of the drink and the elderflower syrup. It also brings a refreshing citrusy aroma that ties everything together perfectly.
  • Ice

How to Make a Hugo Basil Spritz

  • Fill a wine or cocktail glass with ice. 
  • Add the elderflower syrup and Prosecco. 
  • Top with soda water and garnish with lime slices and fresh basil.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • Freshness is key here. Use chilled ingredients whenever possible, especially the prosecco or champagne. You can even pre-chill your serving glasses in the fridge for a few minutes before you get started. This will keep your drink icy cold and maximize those satisfying bubbles!
  • Want a more intense basil flavor? Muddle your basil leaves before adding your cocktail ingredients. If you decide to muddle your basil leaves, don’t go overboard! You want to release the fragrant oils without making the drink bitter. A gentle press with the back of a spoon against a few basil leaves in the bottom of your glass is all you need.
Coupe glass filled to the rim with a light hugo spritz cocktail garnished with lime and basil.

How to serve this cocktail

For maximum refreshment, use chilled glasses and plenty of ice. Large goblets or mason jars are popular choices, but any clear glass will work. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and a lime wedge for a classic touch, or get creative with opal basil leaves or a cucumber slice!

This Hugo Basil Spritz is the perfect way to capture the essence of summer in a glass. With its beautiful balance of floral sweetness, refreshing citrus, and a touch of herbal magic from the basil, it’s no wonder this Italian cocktail is quickly becoming the drink of the summer. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Hugo Basil Spritz

Craving a refreshing twist on the classic Italian cocktail? This Hugo Spritz swaps the usual mint for fragrant basil, creating a light and summery drink with a touch of herbal bliss. Made with elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, soda water, lime slices, and a touch of basil for a quick vacation to the Italian Riviera!
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Cocktail Recipes
Author: Kita
5 minutes
Serves: 1


  • Cocktail glass
  • mixing spoon
  • alcohol measuring cup


  • 2 oz elderflower syrup
  • 5 oz champagne or prosecco
  • Soda water to top off your cocktail
  • Fresh Basil
  • Lime slices
  • Ice


  • Add 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves to a cocktail shaker and muddle.
  • Add ice.
  • Add the elderflower syrup and Prosecco.
  • Top with soda water and give a gentle stir.
  • Strain into a coupe or wine glass.
  • Garnish with lime slices and fresh basil.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 0.1g | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 160mg | Sugar: 43g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

Making a pitcher of Hugo Basil Spritz for a crowd? No problem! Just scale up the recipe proportionally and prepare it all in a large pitcher. Here’s a secret: hold off on adding the soda water until you’re ready to serve. That way, your spritzes will stay nice and bubbly throughout the party.

Absolutely! For a totally alcohol-free version, you can swap the prosecco or champagne for sparkling white grape juice or even plain soda water. However, a splash of bubbly really elevates the drink.

Most liquor stores and well-stocked grocery stores will carry elderflower liqueur or syrup. Popular brands include St. Germain and Elderflower Cordial. The choice depends on your preference – liqueur has a slightly higher alcohol content, while syrup is completely non-alcoholic.

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