The Hugh-No

The Hugh-No is a dealcoholized version of the classic cocktail the “Hugo”,

Katie Slonimcreated by Roland Gruber in Naturno, Italy in 2005. The Hugo combines elderflower liqueur, sparkling wine, and mint into one of the most refreshing summer spritzes you can possibly have. The first time I tried this spritzer, my friend had come back from studying abroad in Italy, where this cocktail’s popularity competes with the well-known Aperol Spritz. We sat on her patio in the sweltering heat of the summer, catching up on her travels, and the hugo acted as air conditioning in a glass! Shoutout to Victoria - Hi Victoria! 

This NA cocktail relies on “The Spritz Formula”. In our mixology classes at Mixo Indy we teach using a formula method as opposed to a recipe method, so that you can 1) Switch out ingredients within a formula that you couldn’t find, didn’t like, or can’t have. 2) Create your own recipes. And 3) Understand how to read a menu so that you make sure you order something you’ll like. Similar to cooking, if a person can make the mental switch FROM recipes TO formulas or “templates” then a whole new world of beverages opens up. 

The spritz formula is composed of 1) some type of liqueur (typically a sweetener, can be alcoholic, or zero proof!) And 2) some type of sparkling wine. With the rise of NA wines, including sparkling proseccos, the possibilities for copy-cat recipes like this one are nearly endless. My go-to brand for mocktail spritzes is Surely Sparkling Brut which provides the same complexity of a sparkling wine, minus the booze! 

Once you have these components ready, you can include any seasonal fruits, herbs, juices, or bitters that you have on hand to add some extra pizazz. As you can see, I have included muddled lime in this recipe to turn the refreshing factor up to 1,000. 

  • 1/2 lime cut up
  • 4 mint leaves (reserve a nice sprig for garnish) 
  • 1 oz. elderflower cordial from Ikea or another elderflower syrup 
  • Surely Non-Alcoholic Brut or another NA sparkling wine! 
  • Soda 

This is a built-in-the glass method.

  1. Muddle the mint and the pieces of lime together until the lime has released all its juices.
  2. Add the elderflower syrup, and roughly 3 oz of the brut, followed by a final 2 oz of soda water.
  3. Top with ice, all the way to the top of the glass.
  4. Give the ingredients a gentle stir to combine and chill.
  5. Finally, slap a sprig of mint to release the aromatic oils (yes it makes a difference!) and garnish with this and a piece, slice, or wedge of lime. 

Check out the steps in video form on this reel! 

Muddling the mint and the lime will not only release the juices, but also the oils of the lime, which is where all the flavor lives! This drink would taste significantly different without those oils, so try not to skip this step. 

  • You can switch out the elderflower liqueur for virtually ANY another N/A liqueur and try a whole new cocktail! 
  • The soda in this recipe is very important. It will amp up the bubbles, yes, but it will also act to balance out the sweetness and the acidity of the other ingredients and will make the whole sipping experience more pleasant overall. 

For more information about Mixo Indy’s private in-home mixology classes and public events, head to or our instagram @mixoindy 

Katie Slonim, Owner, Mixo Indy 

Social Media: @mixoindy
The Hugh-No
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