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Campari Cocktails: A Bold Punch of Color and Flavor

Dating back to 1860s Italy, Campari's bittersweet and herbaceous flavor has been a welcome addition to many cocktails.

Campari is herbal and citrusy and has just the right amount of bitterness to make it a staple for balancing various cocktails' flavors. Whether you use it to make a simple Campari and soda or complement some more creatively crafted drinks, Campari does the trick!

What does Campari taste like?

Campari is world-renowned for its unique taste. Hints of cherry, clove, cinnamon, orange peel, rhubarb, and cascarilla add this liquor's underlying fruit notes. Coming in at 48 proof, Campari is anything but light. Drinks with Campari are a delight to the senses in more than one way!

Campari is not used in the same way as spirits like gin or whiskey, so it's not that well-known. However, in the bartending world, Campari is a crucial ingredient to many top drinks. The deep-red color and bitterness are essential in giving various cocktails a bold punch of flavor and color.

What is Campari made of? Well, the recipe for Campari hasn't changed much since 1860s Italy. Campari is a unique blend of alcohol, sugar syrup, distilled water, and a herbal infusion flavored with rhubarb and oranges in equal parts.

Whether you're making classic Campari cocktails like the Negroni or coming up with new concoctions, this liquor can elevate your cocktail experience. Its high alcohol content means you can use it sparingly.

We've listed some of our favorite Campari cocktails. Give these creations a try! 

Cocktails with Campari worth tasting!

#1. Quo Vadis 

This cocktail is a delicately balanced flavor combination of cardamom, rich and nutty cream sherry, with a bittersweet splash of Campari.

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1 oz. of Campari
  • 1 oz. of cream sherry
  • 1/2 oz. of Luxardo Amaro Abano (or other amaro)
  • 2 oz. of chilled club soda 
  • To garnish, use two orange twists on a pick along with two green olives.

DIRECTIONS

Fill a rocks glass with a few ice cubes, add all of the ingredients, and stir well. Garnish with the orange twists and olives, serve and enjoy!

#2. Mediterranean Pink Lady

This lady is a classy combination of Limoncello and Campari with a pretty pink color with a fresh citrusy flavor. This is a Campari cocktails recipe that everyone will enjoy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 oz. of gin
  • 1/2 oz. of Cointreau (or another triple sec)
  • 1/4 oz. of limoncello
  • 1/4 oz. of Campari
  • 1/2 oz. of lemon juice (fresh)
  • One large egg white
  • To garnish, use 3 to 4 thin strips of lemon zest
  • Ice 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of the ingredients (except the ice and garnish) in a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly. Add ice and continue to shake a bit longer. Strain the contents into a child coupe glass. Garnish with the lemon zest, serve and enjoy!

#3. Americano

This is a simple but tasty Campari drinks recipe. All you need to make this cocktail is three ingredients and a garnish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz. of sweet vermouth
  • 2 oz. of Campari
  • Club soda
  • Garnish with an orange wedge

DIRECTIONS

Take equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth and mix thoroughly over ice. Top up the drink with the club soda. Garnish with an orange wedge, serve and enjoy!

#4. Sorrentino

If Barolo Chinato is hard to find, you can always substitute it with Punt e Mes (spicy-sweet vermouth.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 oz. of chilled club soda 
  • 1 oz. of Barolo Chinato (a spicy, wine-based type of digestif)
  • 1 oz. of Campari
  • Ice
  • 3/4 oz. of limoncello
  • Garnish with a sprig of thyme, smacked, and a lemon and orange wheel skewered on a pick.

DIRECTIONS

Fill a rock glass with ice. You can make slow-melting, beautiful ice spheres with an ice ball maker for an elegant-looking cocktail. Add all of the ingredients (leave out the garnish) and stir well. Use your thyme sprig with the skewered lemon and orange wheels as a garnish, serve and enjoy!

#5. Bridal Shower

This drink is a mix of rhubarb syrup, vodka, and Campari. It has subtle earthy flavors with a touch of bitterness. 

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 1/4 oz. of Campari
  • 3/4 oz. of rhubarb syrup
  • 3/4 oz. of lemon juice (fresh)
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz. of chilled club soda 
  • For a garnish, use two long, thinly sliced rhubarb stalks. 

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients (except the garnish and soda) to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well, and strain the contents into a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir the club soda into the glass to top it off. Garnish with the rhubarb stalks.

#6. Rosa Amargo

This Campari cocktail uses mezcal and the sweet and bitter flavor of grapefruit liqueur. This bittersweet combination is then further emphasized by the Campari.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 oz. of mezcal
  • 1/2 oz. of grapefruit liqueur (Combier Pamplemousse Rose will work nicely)
  • 1/2 oz. of French blanc vermouth 
  • 1/2 oz. of Campari
  • Ice
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

DIRECTIONS

Combine the mezcal, grapefruit liqueur, Campari, and vermouth in a mixing glass. Fill your glass up with ice and stir the contents well. Strain the contents into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Pinch the twist of grapefruit over the drink. Discard the twist, serve the drink and enjoy!

#7. Negroni and Tonic

The Negroni and Tonic is a fabulous twist on the world-renowned and popular gin and tonic. This cocktail has a delightful double-bitterness from the Campari and grapefruit peel, and it contains gin, which is rumored to have health benefits!

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1 oz. of Jack Rudy Classic Tonic Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. of gin
  • 1/2 oz. of sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. of Campari
  • Some Soda water
  • To garnish, use a strip of grapefruit zest 

DIRECTIONS

Put some ice cubes in a chilled Collins glass, add the tonic syrup, vermouth, gin, and Campari. Stir all of this together well, then top off the glass with the soda water. Garnish with the zest, serve and enjoy!

#8. Wine and Campari Cocktail

Mixing sweet wine with bitter Campari makes this a multi-layered cocktail favorite, perfect for any time of the year.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 3/4 c. of sweet white wine, a late-harvest wine such as Riesling
  • 2 1/4 c. of fresh orange juice 
  • One c. of Campari
  • Ice

DIRECTIONS

In a pitcher, mix the wine and the orange juice, add the Campari and mix some more until well blended. Refrigerate for around 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Fill up your tall glasses with the ice. Then pour the cocktail over the ice, serve and enjoy!

#9. Campari-Fennel Aperitif

Add some sparkling wine, some fennel, and a bit of Campari, and you've got a pleasantly bitter, sweet, and herb-infused cocktail. The unique flavor combination of fennel and Campari makes this cocktail worth trying!

INGREDIENTS

  • A handful of fennel fronds, plus use one small sprig as a garnish
  • Three lemon wheels
  • 2 oz. of dry sparkling wine 
  • 3/4 oz. of Campari
  • 1/2 oz. of simple syrup (to make, follow the instructions below)
  • One 2-inch-long strip of lemon peel
  • Ice

DIRECTIONS

Combine the fennel fronds with the wine and lemon wheels, Campari, and the simple syrup. Muddle the mixture around about 20 times. Add the ice to this mixture and shake well. Strain the mix into a rocks glass, and add some ice cubes. Squeeze the peel of the lemon over the drink and then add the peel to the glass. Garnish with a sprig of fennel, serve, and enjoy!

How to make simple syrup:

Simmer ½ c, of water with ½ c, of sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan. Keep stirring the sugar mix until it dissolves and the contents become more syrup-like. Let the syrup cool. You can keep this syrup refrigerated for a month.

Can you drink Campari by itself?

Campari is a powerfully bitter-tasting aperitif. Many people will have a hard time drinking it by itself, even on the rocks. Many cocktail creators will use club soda or sparkling dry wine to lighten the taste and balance it to cut through this liqueur's bitterness.

Campari cocktails: The powerful and mighty little red liquor!

Campari is pretty with its red color but a bitter-tasting herb-infused liquor that is perfect to balance out some of those sweet cocktails and cocktail mixes. The Campari recipes are simple to make and easy to enjoy! Look for Campari today and enjoy your creation tonight!

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