I compared Aperol to Aldi, M&S, Tesco and Lidl and the £6 version is my new favourite summer drink

Birmingham Mail 23.06.2023 17:54:37 Emily Collis
Photo shows bottles of Aperol lined up

Aperol has got to be the ultimate summer drink. Possibly a controversial opinion, but give me a big cold glass of that bitter orange fizz over a Pimm's any day.

It's also the Marmite of the alcohol world. Poll your friends and it's pretty much guaranteed half of them will say it's their absolute favourite beer garden beverage, while the rest will pull a face and say it tastes like cough medicine.

If, like my mum, you've never heard of Aperol until now - it's an Italian bitter apéritif, known for its distinctive bright orange colour and unique bittersweet taste. In my non-expert opinion, it tastes like boozy orange peel, but add it to prosecco with a splash of soda water and it creates something magical... Aperol Spritz.

Read more: I tried coleslaw from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi, M&S and Asda and it made me cross

I hated it the first time I tried it - it's an acquired taste, to say the least. But stick with it and you'll likely grow to love it.

A 70cl bottle will usually set you back around £16, though you can often find Aperol on offer in the supermarkets. Or, many of the big name stores now sell their own versions for a fraction of the price.

We put the cheaper alternatives from M&S, Asda, Lidl and Aldi to the test against the real deal. One of them wasn't worth the money but one supermarket apéritif was just as tasty as the original. Here's how we got on...

We followed the steps on the Aperol website for every drink (and realised we'd been making Aperol Spritzes wrong for years). It should be three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part soda, over plenty of ice.

We started with the OG. I managed to find a 1L bottle on offer for £16, down from £20, at Asda, but it was still substantially more expensive than most of the supermarket versions.

Like most of the own brands we found, Aperol has a strength of 11%. It was the recognisable apéritif I'd tasted many times before - reddish-orange in colour and bitter, sweet and fruity in taste. It had an almost coppery flavour, but enjoyed in my sunny garden, it was undeniably refreshing. It tasted like summer and, in all honesty, I was doubtful any of the others would compare.

At £8 for 70cl, Apertini is almost half the cost of full-priced Aperol and it's the same volume at 11%. Apertini isn't exclusive to Asda either - you can usually find it at Tesco and Morrisons too.

Compared to Aperol, the liqueur smelled slightly strange - almost chemically. It was also noticeably paler in the glass.

The Aperol flavours were all there, but this one was sweeter and fruitier. A good option if you're on the fence about Aperol and find the bitterness a little overpowering. Personally, I like the sharpness of Aperol, so I preferred the original, but Apertini is a tasty alternative - and great value for money.

M&S's Aperitivo was arguable the most aesthetically-pleasing of the bunch. The bottle features a charming design and a resealable cork lid - a nice touch. The 35cl bottle cost me £6.66 in-store, but is priced at £10.50 on Ocado, making it the priciest of the supermarket brands, but it's stronger than the rest (including Aperol) at 15%.

The Aperitivo smelled a lot boozier, as well, so it wasn't surprising that it tasted more alcoholic than the first two. The taste was very similar to Aperol's - not quite as sweet, but the same zesty orange flavour and colour, with a strong but pleasant aftertaste.

If you find Aperol too bitter, this isn't for you. But I loved it.

Unsurprisingly for a supermarket known for its dupes, Aldi's bottle looked the most similar to Aperol's. It also had the same alcohol content at 11%, but it was the cheapest of the group at just £5.49 for 70cl.

It smelled almost identical to the real thing, but was quite a bit paler in colour. It was undeniably the same apéritif in terms of the balance between sweetness and bitterness, but somehow the flavours tasted weaker.

The Aperini still made for a nice spritz, but it was lacking the same bold flavours that make Aperol so iconic.

Lidl's version came ready made in spritz form at £6.99 for a 75cl bottle with 10.5% volume. It was pricier than I expected for the discount supermarket and it smelled very different to the rest - strikingly sweet, like a canned cocktail.

The mixture came out fizzing and was the palest of the bunch. When it came to the taste test, it was hard to compare, as the Bitterol tasted completely different to the homemade spritzes. It was way too sweet for my liking, like a rose wine. There was still a tangy undertone but it wasn't as bitter as the others. Sadly, it just didn't compare.

I was right in thinking that Aperol would be hard to beat - none of the supermarket versions were better the original in terms of flavour. But - I thought M&S's was on a par.

Marks' Aperitivo packed a punch with its citrussy, sharp flavours and the boozy aftertaste was the only thing that set it apart from the real thing. If you've got a sweeter tooth, however, I'd recommend the Apertini for a slightly fruitier spritz.

vendredi 23 juin 2023 20:54:37 Categories:

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