The iconic Italian aperitif that is served in bars and restaurants around the world.
Its bright red hue and bittersweet flavor make it one of the most popular drinks to have before dinner or at happy hour.
But what happens when you don’t have access to Campari?
Or maybe you just want something different for your next cocktail?
Don’t worry – there are plenty of options out there that can be used as substitutes for Campari.
Here are 10 of the best ones.
What is Campari?
Campari is an Italian aperitif made from a blend of aromatic herbs, fruits, and spices.
It has a distinct bittersweet flavor that makes it popular as an ingredient in cocktails or enjoyed on its own.
The recipe for Campari dates back to 1860, when Gaspare Campari first created the spirit in his bar in Milan.
Since then, it has become one of the most recognizable alcoholic drinks worldwide.
The bright red hue of Campari comes from two main ingredients: cascarilla bark and chinotto citrus fruit extracts.
These give the drink its unique flavor profile with hints of orange peel and cloves combined with other herbs like rhubarb and gentian root.
The bitterness is balanced by adding sugar syrup which helps to create a smoother texture overall.
Campari can be served neat over ice or mixed into classic cocktails like Negronis or Americanos along with vermouth and club soda respectively.
It’s also used as an ingredient for many modern cocktail recipes where its distinctive taste adds complexity to any mixology creation!
The 10 Best Substitutes For Campari
If you’re out of Campari and looking for a suitable replacement, don’t worry.
There are plenty of other options available.
Here we look at the 10 best substitutes for Campari that will give you a similar taste and texture:
1 – Aperol
Aperol is an Italian aperitif made from a blend of bitter orange, gentian root, rhubarb, and cinchona bark.
It has a bright orange hue and sweet-bitter flavor that’s slightly less intense than Campari.
The lower alcohol content makes Aperol perfect for mixing into cocktails or sipping on its own over ice with soda water.
When substituting Aperol for Campari in drinks like Negronis or Americanos, it’s best to use equal parts of each spirit.
Though the taste may be slightly different due to the lower alcohol content, Aperol still provides a pleasant balance of sweet and bitter flavors.
Its versatility makes it an ideal alternative for those looking to explore new cocktail options without sacrificing flavor.
2 – Punt e Mes
Punt e Mes is an Italian vermouth-based aperitif that has been around since the late 1800s.
It features a complex flavor profile of sweet, bitter, and herbal notes.
The main ingredients are white wine, herbs and spices, caramelized sugar, and quinine.
Punt e Mes is often used as a substitute for Campari in classic cocktails such as Negroni or Americano.
It can also be enjoyed on its own over ice with an orange twist for added sweetness.
For those looking to add more complexity to their drinks without overpowering them with bitterness, Punt e Mes may be the perfect alternative to Campari.
3 – Cynar
Cynar is an Italian aperitif made from artichoke leaves, herbs, and spices.
It has a bittersweet flavor with notes of caramel, citrus, and gentian root.
The deep brown color of Cynar makes it an ideal replacement for Campari in cocktails like Negronis or Americanos.
Cynar can also be used to make spritzes or sours thanks to its herbal complexity and low alcohol content.
For those looking for something different than the usual Campari-based drink, give Cynar a try – you may find yourself pleasantly surprised!
4 – Amer Picon
Amer Picon is a classic French apéritif made from bitter orange peel, gentian root, and herbs.
It has a sweet yet bitter flavor with notes of caramel and spice.
The taste profile is similar to Campari but slightly less intense in terms of bitterness.
Amer Picon can be enjoyed as an aperitif or used in cocktails such as the Negroni or Boulevardier.
It also makes for a great replacement for Campari when making Americanos or other drinks that call for the Italian liqueur.
For those looking to add complexity to their cocktail creations, Amer Picon is an excellent choice!
5 – Fernet Branca
Fernet Branca is an Italian amaro, or bittersweet liqueur, made from a secret blend of herbs and spices.
It has a strong flavor that’s bitter and herbal with hints of menthol, licorice, and mint.
The dark brown liquid is often served as an after-dinner digestif but can also be used in cocktails like the classic Negroni or Americano.
When substituting Fernet Branca for Campari in drinks, you may need to adjust the proportions since it’s much stronger than Campari.
Fernet Branca has become increasingly popular over the years due to its unique flavor profile and versatility in cocktails.
6 – Red amaro
Red amaro is a type of Italian bitter liqueur made from an infusion of herbs, spices, and citrus peels.
It has a deep red hue and a complex flavor profile with notes of juniper, orange peel, licorice root, and other botanicals.
The taste is slightly sweet but also intensely herbal and slightly bitter.
This makes it an excellent substitute for Campari in cocktails like Negronis or Americanos.
For those who prefer something less intense than Campari, Red amaro offers the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness.
Plus, its vibrant color adds a beautiful touch to any drink!
7 – Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso
Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso is a unique Italian aperitif made from wine, herbs, and spices.
It has a bold flavor profile with notes of citrus, gentian root, and rhubarb.
The taste is slightly bitter but balanced by sweet undertones of orange blossom honey and elderflower.
Cappelletti can be enjoyed as an apéritif or cocktail ingredient in place of Campari.
It adds complexity to classic drinks like the Negroni or Americano while also working well in more creative concoctions such as the Cappelletto Sour.
This versatile spirit can also be used to add depth to desserts such as panna cotta or gelato.
Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso is an excellent alternative for those looking for something new yet familiar when it comes to their cocktails!
8 – Contratto Bitter
Contratto Bitter is an Italian aperitif made from a blend of herbs, spices, and citrus.
It has a unique flavor profile that combines sweet and bitter notes with hints of orange peel and cardamom.
The drink is aged in oak barrels for at least two years before bottling, giving it an intense aroma and deep red color.
This makes Contratto Bitter the perfect substitute for Campari in cocktails like Negronis or Americanos.
It also pairs well with tonic water to create refreshing spritzes or can be enjoyed neat as an after-dinner digestif.
For those looking to explore new flavors while still enjoying the classic taste of Campari, Contratto Bitter is certainly worth trying!
9 – Luxardo Bitter
Luxardo Bitter is a classic Italian liqueur made from an infusion of herbs and spices.
It has a deep, dark red color and a complex flavor profile that combines sweet, bitter, and herbal notes.
The taste is slightly sweet with hints of citrus peel, gentian root, rhubarb, and other botanicals.
Luxardo Bitter can be used as an alternative to Campari in cocktails such as Negronis or Americanos.
It adds complexity to drinks without overpowering them like Campari can sometimes do.
In addition to its use in cocktails, Luxardo Bitter can also be enjoyed on its own over ice or mixed into sparkling wine for a refreshing spritz.
10 – Gran Classico
Gran Classico is a bitter Italian liqueur that has been around since the 1800s.
It is made from an infusion of herbs and spices, including gentian root, rhubarb, cinchona bark, and orange peel.
Gran Classico has a deep red hue and offers a complex flavor profile with notes of citrus, licorice, and caramel.
The liqueur can be enjoyed neat or mixed into cocktails such as Negronis or Americanos.
For those looking to substitute Campari in drinks or recipes, Gran Classico makes an excellent alternative.
Its unique flavor adds depth to any beverage while still providing the same level of bitterness as Campari.
In conclusion, Campari is an iconic Italian aperitif with a distinct bittersweet flavor.
If you’re out of Campari and looking for a suitable substitute, don’t worry.
There are plenty of other options available such as Aperol, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Amer Picon, Fernet Branca, Red amaro, Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso, Contratto Bitter, Luxardo Bitter, and Gran Classico.
All of these substitutes offer a similar flavor and texture, so you can still enjoy your favorite cocktails or aperitifs even if you don’t have Campari on hand.
The 10 Best Substitutes For Campari
- Punt e Mes
- Amer Picon
- Fernet Branca
- Red amaro
- Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano Rosso
- Contratto Bitter
- Luxardo Bitter
- Gran Classico
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.