The Hugo is a German staple with Italian roots. Created in Northern Italy as an alternative to the basic wine spritzer, the Hugo cocktail is hugely popular in bars and pubs throughout Southern Germany and Austria. This Hugo recipe is a deeply refreshing blend of sparkling wine, mint, and elderflower cordial. Elderflower cordial or syrup varies in depth of flavor and sweetness, so you may want to adjust the mix to your liking. Prosecco is the traditional option, but any dry sparkling wine should do in a pinch.
I’ve tried making a Hugo recipe with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and it wasn’t quite as delicious, plus fully loaded with booze. These are the kind of light summer sips that go down pretty easy, so it was a bit too much. I’d do it again in a pinch, but I’d recommend sticking with the traditional cordial or syrup.
Hugo Recipe (Sparkling Elderflower Cocktail)
- 1 part elderflower syrup or cordial
- 4 parts Prosecco or sparkling wine
- Fresh mint
- Mineral water or club soda
- Fill a large wine glass halfway with ice.
- Take 2-3 mint leaves and twist them to release their oils, then add them to the glass. Pour in the elderflower syrup and Prosecco, then top with a splash of mineral water.
- Stir gently to combine, then garnish with more mint.
photos by Katie Roletto (and she has a new favorite cocktail!)