The Made in Italy DIY (Drink-It-Yourself) Bar

This week we continue to explore Northern Italian drinks, satisfying our inner cocktail connoisseur from the comfort of our homes! We bring you the third week of The DIY (Drink-It-Yourself) Bar blogs, so you can get boozy & cultured while you munch on your favourite Italian fare. Set up your dream speakeasy in the living room with some moody music, candles, and let’s get the cocktail shaker working

The Hugo

This sweet aperitif is only slightly alcoholic, hitting the spot as a refreshing treat on a warm day. It’s based on prosecco, elderflower syrup (or lemon balm syrup), sparkling water, and mint leaves.

History of The Hugo

The Hugo is a relatively recent cocktail, having been concocted in 2005. It was born in the Naturns municipality, in the mountainous Italian region of South Tyrol. Barman Roland Gruber crafted this drink as an alternative to the Spritz Veneziano, and the creation quickly spread throughout the country.

Whilst the original recipe was produced with lemon balm, a distinct and aromatic plant, this is now made in small quantities of an expensive artisan quality, and it is not readily available. Instead, the Hugo is now most commonly made with elderflower syrup.

The Hugo at Home

Create the Hugo at home and experience the northern Italian cocktail with this recipe;


  • 30ml of elderflower cordial
  • dash of soda water
  • prosecco
  • ice
  • fresh mint
  • lime


  • Scoop a handful of ice into a large wine glass along with some torn mint leaves
  • Add the elderflower cordial with a splash of soda water then top up with Prosecco
  • Give a quick stir and garnish with a wheel of lime

Made in Italy Meal Pairing

This summery favourite works well with similar light foods. Our dream dinner duo would be the Hugo & a Made in Italy Margherita. Other meals to  explore on your palate with this drink would be a pesto pasta, or a spicy seafood snack.

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Grazie for reading and as always buon appetito!

Nonna Vittoria👵

* This web page is intended for those only of legal drinking age and in a responsible manner. Nonna Vittoria does not encourage or support irresponsible drinking or promotions of alcohol to those under the legal drinking age.