You may know the famous Aperol Spritz, a classic Italian cocktail for Aperitivo. But there is a close relative, more similar to the original version of Spritz, which is made with Campari and Prosecco. Campari is Bitter liquor with a slightly more bitter taste, but incredibly aromatic. Which one do you prefer?
Yes. Aperol Spritz is the absolute king of Italian Aperitivo. But not everybody appreciates it. Some people prefer stronger flavors, and that's why they would opt for the Campari version.
What is Campari?
Campari Bitter was invented in Milan in 1860, by Gaspare Campari. In 1904, Campari's son decides to increase the production and start a marketing campaign to make the brand known in the whole Country.
The '20s and '30s are when the product will become most known and appreciated by many. Throughout the years then the notoriety increased exponentially to become what it is today. A worldwide brand.
The curious thing is that even though today it is a worldwide famous brand, the main production is still in its birthplace in Milan, now called Villa Campari. Villa Campari is the headquarters of the brand, but also a fantastic restaurant (which I had the pleasure and honor to visit). There you can appreciate delicious food accompanied by the iconic Campari cocktails, surrounded by the art and advertising that made the brand famous.
What is a Spritz?
But, let's start from the basics! What is a Spritz? What makes a cocktail a Spritz? Because I've seen Spritz recipes that have nothing to do with Spritz so I want to explain where this name comes from.
The name Spritz comes from the German Spritzen, which means "to splash" and indicated (in the northern regions of Italy), the gesture of splashing white wine with some sparkling water. Between the '20s and '30s, sparkling white wine was replaced with Prosecco and it was splashed with bitter liquors, such as Aperol or Select.
So can we call Spritz any wine-based cocktail? No. The basis of Spritz is that it needs to be sparkling, so any white wine would not do. It can be called Spritz only if it has the following criteria:
- A sparkling white wine, such as Prosecco
- A bitter liquor, such as Aperol, Campari, Select, etc. (this is optional in the "white" version)
- A sparkling splash or soda, seltz, or water
What's the difference between Aperol and Campari?
Here below I list all the differences between Campari vs Aperol. In general, they're quite similar and that's why both make a great Spritz, but you can certainly tell them apart easily.
- Aperol is slightly sweeter, Campari is bitter
- Campari is red, Aperol is orange
- Campari has double the alcohol percentage than Aperol
How to serve Campari Spritz
Campari Spritz, just like Aperol Spritz, is a perfect Aperitivo drink. Aperitivo is a finger food and appetizers buffet we have in Italian bars between 5 and 7, in which people have a bubbly drink with some food to stop the hunger until dinner time and socialize with friends.
If you want to know more, check this article about Italian Aperitivo and how to organize it at home.
It goes perfectly with salted peanuts, chips, crostini, tomato bruschetta, or even pasta salads. It's a summer drink so it's best when enjoyed outside, on a terrace, garden, or in the park during a picnic.
Aperol is slightly sweeter, while Campari is bitter. Plus, Campari has double the alcohol percentage than Aperol.
The ingredients are Campari, Prosecco wine, and Club Soda or Seltz. You can add an orange slice to the glass to serve.
Campari, just like Aperol or Select, has a bitter aromatic flavor. When mixed with Prosecco though, the bitterness is less strong and it's much more pleasant to drink.
If you like this recipe, try also these other Aperitivo drinks:
- 3 oz Prosecco wine
- 2 oz Campari
- a splash Club Soda or Seltz
- 1 slice Orange
- In a wine glass, add the ice cubes, the Prosecco, then the Campari and finish with a splash of Soda.
- Add the orange slice in the glass and serve.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.