Beverages, Recipes

Naked and Famous Cocktail (Aperol Drink Recipe)

With a name like this, you’ll never forget the naked and famous cocktail. And one sip of its bold and bright yet smoky flavors will solidify its place in your repertoire. 

Made with Aperol, Mezcal, yellow chartreuse, and lime, it’s refined and sophisticated.

Orange cocktail served in a tall wine glass on top of a wooden table.

This is an equal-part cocktail, meaning the measurements are easy. And its simplicity makes it ideal for individual drinks or batch cocktails. 

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You’ll love the naked and famous for small gatherings and fabulous parties alike. 

What is the Naked and Famous Cocktail?

The naked and famous cocktail is a modern classic featuring equal parts Mezcal, yellow chartreuse, Aperol, and lime.

Although its ingredient list is simple, its flavors are phenomenal. Every mouthful strikes a delectable balance between smoky, sweet, bitter, and sour. 

This pretty, sunset-colored libation was invented in 2011 at the Death and Co. cocktail bar in New York.

Inventor Joaquín Simó calls it a hybrid between two cocktail classics: the paper plane and the last word. And I think this deliciously balanced cocktail is better than both. 

Yellow orange cocktail served on a tall cocktail glass, sliced lime and jigger on top of a wooden table.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this fantastic drink:

  • Smoky Mezcal – A smoky and agave-based alcohol. This spirit is more complex than tequila with its strong, roasted taste. It’s a little fruity, floral, and earthy. 
  • Yellow Chartreuse – A delicious mellow spirit that tastes of honey, saffron, and anise. 
  • Aperol – An Italian liqueur that is both sweet and bitter. It is orange-forward with notes of rhubarb and herbs. 
  • Lime Juice – It has to be fresh! The bottled stuff does not add the same citrusy brightness.
  • Lime Wedge – For garnish! No drink is complete without it. 
  • Ice – For the cocktail shaker. This drink is best served cold. But ice in the drink will water it down.

How To Make a Naked and Famous Cocktail

1. Prep. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Put your coupe glass into the freezer to chill. 

2. Pour. Add the Mezcal, chartreuse, Aperol, and lime juice to the shaker. Shake vigorously until the drink is deliciously cold. 

3. Strain. Remove your coupe glass from the freezer. Strain the cocktail into the glass. 

4. Garnish and enjoy! Add a lime wedge for garnish. Serve, and enjoy! 

Closeup top view of orange cocktail served on a vintage cocktail glass placed on top of a wooden table.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch up the proportions. This recipe uses 3/4 ounce portions. But you can do 1/2 or 1-ounce portions as well.  
  • Try green chartreuse for an extra citrusy drink! Green chartreuse’s most prominent flavor notes are lime, fresh herbs, and citrus spice. It will taste different but still very yummy. FYI, it also has a higher alcohol content. 
  • Can’t find Mezcal? Switch it out for tequila blanco. Tequila is technically a type of Mezcal, so it works. It just may not be as smoky. 
  • Make a big batch! Since all measurements are equal, you can easily turn this into a batch cocktail. Add 9 ounces of each ingredient to a pitcher and stir gently. Store it in the fridge until you serve. Then, add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour individual servings into the shaker to chill. Shake and serve them in chilled coupe glasses. 
  • Add smoke for extra sophistication. Infuse the tequila with a smoked wood chip for an even deeper smoky depth.
  • Add some spice! Muddle a jalapeño slice with the ice before shaking.

More Cocktail Recipes You’ll Love

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Naked and Famous Cocktail