The White Lotus Launches Aperol Spritz Cocktail to Stardom
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Thanks to The White Lotus, the Oft-maligned Aperol Spritz Cocktail Is Seeing a Huge Resurgence

Relaunched to popularity by The White Lotus, the bittersweet Aperol Spritz cocktail has been the subject of much debate over the past decade. (Photo: HBO)

The latest season of The White Lotus was defined by sex, lies, murder, TikTok speculation, and most surprisingly, the Aperol Spritz.

Throughout the doomed-yet-decadent vacation to Sicily, everyone from Aubrey Plaza to Adam DiMarco was seen sipping on one of these summery bright red cocktails.

The Aperol Spritz, a three-part mix of Aperol, club soda and prosecco topped off with an orange slice, has been a consistent favorite in its home nation of Italy for decades. Now, thanks to The White Lotus, the rest of the world is starting to develop a taste.

Campari Group, the spirits company behind Aperol, just announced that the bitter apéritif saw 50% growth in the U.S. in 2022 and is currently slated to become its fastest-growing offering.

Mistakenly confusing Netflix for HBO, CEO of Campari Group Bob Kunze-Concewitz said to investors; “If you look at White Lotus, which is a key Netflix TV series, you’ll see so many orange glasses – the Aperol perfect serve throughout every single show…That clearly is having an impact.”

Popular as it now may be, the Aperol Spritz has historically carried a negative reputation.

In 2019, Rebekah Peppler published an entire article in The New York Times simply titled “The Aperol Spritz Is Not A Good Drink.”

In it, she criticized a then-ongoing Aperol marketing campaign that was taking the country by storm, remarking, “the sugary apéritif is paired with low-quality prosecco, soda water and an outsize orange slice, resulting in something that drinks like a Capri Sun after soccer practice on a hot day. Not in a good way.”

The White Lotus

Invented in 1919, Aperol is a bitter apéritif made from gentian root, rhubarb and cinchona bark. (Photo: Campari Group)

Insider Magazine later chimed in with insight from taste expert John Prescott, who said that the cocktail’s signature mix of sweetness and bitterness is mainly appreciated through “increasing exposure.”

Evidently, the popularity of The White Lotus was enough “exposure” for consumers to turn in favor of the Aperol Spritz.

If you rewind your pop culture memory back a few months, you’ll remember that this isn’t the first prosecco-based cocktail that has been launched to viral popularity by an HBO show.

The White Lotus

The defining cocktails trend of 2022, the Negroni Sbagliato. (Photo: Gin Raiders)

In September 2022, House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy sparked an international craze for Negroni Sbagliatos after they named it their favorite cocktail in an interview with Olivia Cooke.

Though we doubt that The Last of Us is going to be creating viral cocktail sensations anytime soon, it seems that HBO has cemented itself as an unexpected alcoholic trendsetter of sorts.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.