A couple of summers ago in Italy while awaiting the birth of my 6th. grandchild my daughter’s friend introduced me to Hugo.  After one sip of this blissfully refreshing cocktail I wondered why we’ve never met before!

When in Italy, specially in the Veneto region my cocktail of choice had always been the Bellini served at either one of my favorite cafes, Florian’s or Quadri’s in Piazza San Marco.

Of course if one wanted to be real authentic I suppose a Bellini at nearby Harry’s Bar would be better; after all it was the Venetian bar where the cocktail was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1948.  But I much prefer the ambiance of Florian’s outdoor cafe; the perfect spot to people watch.

My husband on the other hand loves the Aperol Spritz.  He says it’s a thirst quencher.  I find it a bit too bitter.

But I digress!  I was introducing you to Hugo.  What exactly is a Hugo Cocktail?  It’s an alcoholic aperitif originating in the Alto Adige or South Tryol province of Italy.  This region includes parts of the Dolomites and Italian Alps mountain ranges.  It’s actually one of my favorite regions of Italy, which again makes we wonder why I’d never met Hugo during one of my visits to the area.

The Hugo Cocktail, like the Bellini and the Spritz, is a Prosecco based cocktail; makes sense because the best Prosecco comes from within the Veneto region of Italy and the Alto Adige region is just north of the Veneto.  The other ingredients in the Hugo include Elderflower Syrup or Liqueur, sparkling water, fresh mint leaves and lime.  It truly is refreshing, the perfect summer cocktail.

Since traveling to Italy doesn’t seem to be an option this summer and most likely the rest of the year I’ve decided to bring my favorite places to me by making our favorite drinks and foods from each country.  So today I’ll share my recipe for Hugo Cocktails as well as Bellinis and Spritzes.  Just in case you don’t know what to do with that bottle of Prosecco you just popped open you’ll have 3 options.  So pour yourself a drink and a plate of Cicchetti(bar snacks),sit back, and dream of Italy!  Buon Appetito!

Hugo Cocktail

Ingredients:

5 oz. Prosecco

1 oz. Elderberry Liqueur – I use St. Germaine

2-3 oz. Sparkling Water

2 Lime Slices

4-6 Fresh Mint Leaves

Ice

Directions:

Place Mint Leaves in a wine glass and slightly crush or muddle.  You want to let the minty aroma out but not smash the leaves.

Add ice and lime slices.

Pour Prosecco, Liqueur, and sparkling water over ice.

Stir and drink up!

Bellini

Ingredients:

3 Parts Prosecco

1 Part Peach Puree – Use 3-4 White Peaches (you can use any other peach if you can’t find white peaches)

Directions:

Peel 3-4 ripe White Peach

Cut in quarters, remove pit

Puree in a blender

Strain in to a pitcher

Add Prosecco

Divide between chilled champagne flutes.

Aperol Spritz

Ingredients:

2 Parts Aperol or Campari will do in a pinch

3 Parts Prosecco

A splash of sparkling water

Orange slice

Ice

Directions:

Put ice in a glass

Add Prosecco, Aperol, and sparkling water

Stir

Garnish with Orange slice

Serve