Campari is an alcoholic (alcohol 20.5%; 41 proof) aperitif obtained from the infusion of sixty ingredients, combined and macerated in a blend of distilled water and alcohol. Campari is a type of bitters.

Campari was invented by Gaspare Campari between 1862 and 1867. Today the product is still composed of the same original ingredients, thanks to a formula which has remained a secret for almost 150 years. Campari is obtained from the infusion of bitter and aromatic herbs, plants and fruit in alcohol and water.


The history of Campari began in Novara, Italy, in 1860, with the invention by Gaspare Campari of the recipe that is still in use today. The recipe is kept confidential; according to Gruppo Campari, the Chairman, Luca Garavoglia, with the help of the technical director and eight employees, produces the base concentrate. Garavoglia is the only person in the world who knows the entire formula for the original family recipe. [ [ "Campari still magnificently bitter"] ] However, among the ingredients are quinine and other bitter herbs, rhubarb, spices, ginseng, bergamot oil, and orange peel. [ [ The Accidental Hedonist: the history of Campari] notes quinine, rhubarb, ginseng, orange peel and aromatic herbs.] It is known that the colour came from natural Carmine Cochineal E20, but the Gruppo Campari in many countries has shifted to an artificial colorant.Fact|date=September 2008 One of the main ingredients is bark from Cascarilla trees that grow in the Bahamas. [ [ "What is Campari?"] ]

In 1904, Campari's first production plant was opened in Sesto San Giovanni. The company required bars that bought Campari to display the "Campari Bitters" sign; under the direction of Davide Campari the company began to export the brand, first to Nice, the heart of the French Riviera, then overseas. The Campari brand is now distributed in over 190 countries.

In the Italian market, Campari mixed with carbonated water is sold in individual bottles as Campari Soda (10% alcohol by volume). Campari Soda is packaged in a distinctive bottle that was designed by Fortunato Depero; it was first created in 1932. Campari is said to have been one of the inspirations behind another bitter sweet drink called [ Kinnie] produced in Malta since 1952.

Campari is an essential ingredient in the classic Negroni cocktail, and, wittily, in the Americano, named at a time when few Americans were aware of Campari. Campari can be used to make a sorbet.

Flavor Profile

Campari has a wide flavor profile. While the nose of this liqueur is familiar to those of various recipes of anisette or even Sambuca, (an anise/liquorice scent and flavor) Campari is bitter rather than sweet. Whereas Campari is considered a light beverage or an apertif, it is often described as having a medicinal flavor (aspirin is the most common description).

In popular culture

Campari ostensibly caters to the discriminating palate. Thus James Bond favored a couple of drinks containing Campari: Negroni and Americano. "The Day of the Jackal" (1973) has the assassin (Edward Fox) and the gun maker drinking Campari as they discuss whether it will be a head shot or not. The sophisticate sister Sadie Shelton (Bette Midler) orders a Campari and soda in "Big Business".
*Ernest Hemingway drinks Campari and Gordon's with a splash of soda in "Under Kilamanjaro"
*Campari was William Holden's favorite drink, and he made sure his Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Kenya was always well stocked.
*In the film "Il bidone" by Federico Fellini, one swindler orders a Campari and another orders a Negroni.
*In the film "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou", Steve is commonly seen drinking a glass of Campari, and often asks his interns to fetch him a glass.
*John Updike's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Rabbit at Rest" (1990) features Campari, Janice Angtrom's "anesthetic of choice" in the Floridian locale.
*A 1983 imitation of a Campari advertisement in Hustler Magazine, regarding Jerry Falwell's "first time," subjected Hustler owner Larry Flynt to suit for libel and defamation.
*In the film "The Crawling Eye", (also known as "The Trollenberg Terror",) character Sarah Pilgrim asks for a Campari when offered a drink by geologist character Dewhurst.
*In the film The Bank Job (2008) Saffron Burrows' character, Martine Love, orders a Campari and soda while taking a break during the heist.
*In season one, episode eight (The Hobo Code) of "Mad Men" character Salvatore Ramono orders a Campari with a twist.
*Campari Soda is the title of a 1977 Taxi song. An electronica cover of the song was released in 2002 on the Golden Boy & Miss Kitten album "Or".
* In the fictional memoir "True at First Light", Ernest Hemingway and wife "Miss Mary" drink a great deal of Campari, sometimes mixed with gin.
* In the song "We're Not Sorry" from the musical Urinetown, the poor sing "let the blood flow/ like Campari."
* While shooting the film "First Blood" in Canada, Sylvester Stallone (in full Rambo costume) ordered a Campari and soda in a bar full of rough locals.
*In several Dallas episodes, including "The Mummy's Revenge", the character April Stevens orders a "Campari and soda".
*On the British pop group Girls Aloud's third studio album, entitled "Chemistry", the song "Swinging London Town" features the line "Soho soaks drink Campari, free flowing bubbly, a drop of gin..."
*In the film "An American Werewolf in London", Dr. Hirsch orders a Campari and soda when he visits the "Slaughtered Lamb". The small pub however doesn't carry it and he has to settle for a beer.
*Ernest Hemingway's novel "A Farewell to Arms" has the main character Frederic Henry drinking Campari many times.
*In the video for Christina Aguilera's - "Candyman", a USO cigarette girl is seen offering Campari to WW2 era American soldiers and sailors.
*In the video for Jennifer Hudson's - "Spotlight (2008) Compari is seen in a bucket during the club scene of the video.

ee also

*Angostura Bitters


External links

* [ Campari]
* [ The Accidental Hedonist: the history of Campari]

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