Campari is an Italian bitters, red in color. It is drunk as an aperitif, to prepare the palate before a meal. The Italians maintain that one "must try Campari three times before it is truly enjoyed". It can be enjoyed at any time of day:

  • Before brunch, Campari in orange juice is a beautiful drink, it looks like a sunrise.
  • In the late afternoon, Campari is generally taken straight over ice or mixed with sweet vermouth and soda water (called an Americano).
  • Prior to supper, there are several apertifs that feature Campari:
  • Later at night, flaming brandy and Campari make a thrilling nightcap, the Combustible Edison.
Named after Gaspare Campari, born 1828, in Castelnuovo in Lombardy. At the age of 14, he became an apprentice drink master at the Bass bar in Turin. There he learned the craft of creating original drink recipes based on wines or spirits combined with herbs and flavorings. After a stint at the Cambio restaurant, Campari moved to Milan in 1862, the home town of his second wife. He opened a cafe next to the Duomo, and negotiated his way into opening the Cafe-Patesserie Campari at the main entrance to the Galleria in 1867. When other bars began to purchase bottles of Campari's house bitters, Bitter all' uso d'Hollanda, for resale, his son Davide made sure the Campari name was displayed with it, and created a brand.


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