Get to Know Hugo

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It’s warm weather cocktail time! You may already know Campari, Aperol and Sangria. But have you met my friend, Hugo? He was introduced to me by former German colleagues at the end of a long work day. He has a refreshingly light and easy-going personality with mint for cooling freshness, lime for a little “zing!” and elderflower syrup for a subtle floral touch. Some would even say he’s downright sparkly! I think you’re going to like him, too.

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With origins from Alpine northern Italy, the Hugo Cocktail quickly spread throughout central western Europe roughly a decade ago. It’s just as easy to make two cocktails as it is to make a pitcher. Compared to other cocktails (I’m looking at you, fattening Margarita!), the Hugo is low in calories and alcohol. He isn’t going to get you smashed… just relaxed. Even on a weeknight if you’d like.

Mint chiffanade

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Wondering what to have with your Hugo? I’ve got you covered. You can make classic happy hour fare, or better yet — here’s a whole meal: Hollywood Turkey Burgers, East-Facing Lentils, Asparagus Salad, and Citrus Scented Olive Oil Cake, or Boiled Orange Pound Cake.

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Did you enjoy reading or making the recipe from this post? If so, please give it a “like” or a comment. It would be nice to know you are out there and that my posts connect with you.

The Hugo Cocktail

  • Servings: 2, but scales to any amount
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 8 ounces (1 cup) prosecco, champagne, or any dry white sparkling wine
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) sparkling mineral water, seltzer water or club soda (not tonic water)
  • 4-6 teaspoons of elderflower syrup/concentrate (found at IKEA of all places, or use St Germain liqueur)
  • 2 limes
  • 4 springs of fresh mint (about four to five leaves per glass, plus extra for garnish)
  • Ice


  1. Stack 4-5 mint leaves. Roll the leaves, twist, tear, and place into the bottom of one glass. Repeat for each remaining glass. (This is a chiffonade technique, but instead of using a knife, tear the leaves with your hands for a rough “cut”)
  2. Squeeze the juice from one half lime into each glass
  3. Add 2-3 teaspoons of Elderflower syrup (or St. Germain liqueur) into each glass
  4. Fill each glass with ice
  5. Add four ounces (1/2 cup) of sparkling mineral water, seltzer water or club soda to each glass
  6. Add four ounces (1/2 cup) of prosecco, champagne, or any dry white sparkling wine to each glass (pour slowly to avoid a foam-over!)
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few mint leaves
  8. Stir

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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