Let’s make Averna Limonata this weekend! We like to call this hard iced tea because if you served it to us, we’de think it was a boozy sweet tea. 

Why This Recipe Works

We love a fun (and easy) low-abv cocktail. And this recipe hits both of those things. The classic Averna Limonata is inherently simple with just two ingredients—Averna Amaro and a lemon soda. It’s sweet, nuanced and totally refreshing. And you can have a few without getting sloshed—perfect for long summer days! 

Watch How to Make Averna Limonata

What is Amaro?

Averna is part of the amaro category of liqueurs. If you’re new to amaros, they’re bitter-sweet elixirs generally made with a base of wine or brandy. The alcohol steeps with bitter roots, barks, herbs, flowers and citrus peels. Simply steeped, the mixture can be used as bitters in cocktails, but add some sugar and, voila, you have amaro! 

If you’re ready to do a deep dive on Amaro, check out this article (coming soon) where we talk about its history and all the different types out there.

bottle of averna amaro set on a dark wood cabinet

What is Averna Amaro?

Averna Amaro is an Italian liqueur with a bold cola-like flavor. One the spectrum of amaros, Averna lands somewhere in the middle between really bitter and really sweet—which is why we like it. It’s a great addition to rum and whiskey-based cocktails. (We especially love it with rye whiskey.)

How to Use a Bottle of Amaro

  • Mix it with some rum and lime or 
  • Use Averna in place of half of the sweet vermouth in a Manhattan. 
  • For a low-abv drink, use Averna Amaro in place of whiskey in cocktails. Of course it’s not the same, but it does satisfy that deeply-rich flavor. 

Substitutes for Averna Amaro

If you can’t find Averna Amaro try Amaro Ramazzotti, Amaro Ciociaro or Amaro Montenegro.

coca cola-colored cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with a lemon wheel and thyme

Lemon Soda

It’s important to use a high-quality lemon soda here. Something bubbly and sweet. Avoid classic lemon-lime sodas like 7-Up or Sprite and opt for something such as San Pellegrino Limonata or a sparkling lemonade.

More Amaro Cocktails Recipes to Try

  • The Suspender Cocktail is a great low-abv option for those who love a negroni.
  • The Paper Plane is a modern variation on the Last Word and we it’s absolutely a must-try.
  • Bitters and Smoke combine Mexican flavors and Italian amaro to create a nuanced and boozy sipper.
  • While Pimm’s is not technically amaro, it does remind us of amaro and we think it’s worth a try. The Pimm’s Cup is another great low-abv cocktail! If you like the Averna Limonata, then you’ll love the Pimm’s Cup! 

Averna Limonata (Amaro Cocktail)

4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 1 cocktail
Category Cocktails / Drinks
Cuisine American/Italian


A refreshing summer cocktail with hard iced tea vibes. This low-abv drink is a must for long summer days.


  • 2 ounces Averna Amaro
  • 4 ounces lemon soda, such as San Pellegrino Limonata
  • Lemon wheels and herbs, for garnish


  • Pour Averna and lemon soda over ice in a rocks glass or Collins glass.
    Garnish with lemon wheels and a sprig of herbs (thyme, sage, mint, rosemary or basil).


If you can’t find San Pellegrino Limonata, use any sparkling lemonade you can find. 


Serving: 1 drinkCalories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 12gSugar: 10g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
coca cola-colored cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with a lemon wheel and thyme

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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