The Hugo is a popular summertime drink in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and South Tyrol (where it was invented by barman Roland Gruber). It’s perfect for warm weather – refreshing bubbles, crisp mint, and low enough proof that sipping one in the middle of the day won’t put you to sleep.
Gruber originally intended for the drink to be made with lemon balm syrup, but as the drink’s fanbase stretched farther and wider, elderflower syrup eventually became the default. You could even use elderflower liqueur, if you don’t have syrup; most bottlings are nearly as sweet as syrup.
We first heard about the Hugo from a Cocktail Party user (thanks, JP!). That user suggested adding a splash of sparkling water to lengthen and lighten even more. We like the recipe with only a sparkling white wine like Prosecco for the bubbles, but it’s worth passing along!
Fill a wineglass or goblet with ice. Pour the elderflower syrup or liqueur over the ice, then tuck in mint leaves and the citrus slice. Top with sparkling white wine.