Campari and Soda

Two Campari and soda cocktails in highball glasses garnished with orange

The Spruce / Haley Hazell

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
355 Calories
2g Fat
79g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 37mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 79g 29%
Dietary Fiber 19g 67%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 356mg 1,781%
Calcium 234mg 18%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 932mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Campari and soda is a great aperitif to enjoy before a meal. It displays the bitter, herbal taste of Campari without any outside flavor influences. Along with Campari on the rocks, it's one of the signature ways to serve the Italian spirit, though this sparkling cocktail is far more refreshing.

As in this recipe, the official formula from Campari uses 3 parts soda and 1 part Campari. That can be adjusted, of course. Pour less Campari or more soda to soften the flavor while training your palate to Campari's bold taste. On the other hand, if you're already a fan of Campari, you may like it at a 2:1 ratio.

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"The daytime 'Gin and Tonic'! If your palate likes bitter, you are sure to enjoy this popular cocktail. With its iconic ratios, this recipe highlights the bold, bitter, herbal Campari, while the bubbly water brings out the slight sweetness and orange notes. Love it or leave it, this libation is one you must try." —Sean Johnson

Campari and Soda Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Campari and soda ingredients

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  2. Pour the Campari into a highball glass filled with ice.

    Campari being poured into a highball glass with ice

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  3. Top with soda water.

    Campari and ice cocktail topped with soda water

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

  4. Garnish with a lemon or orange slice.

    Campari and soda garnished with an orange slice

    The Spruce / Haley Hazell

Tips

  • Choose an unsweetened carbonated beverage such as club soda, seltzer, or sparkling water.
  • An orange slice is a natural companion for this drink because Campari has orange undertones. Switching to the lemon garnish and squeezing it gently over the drink can add a subtle but brilliant contrast.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer something a touch sweeter, try substituting ginger ale for the soda.
  • Another option is to skip the soda and pour a dry sparkling wine instead.
  • Play up the orange flavor by adding a splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Adding sweet vermouth to the mix and cutting back on the soda produces the iconic Americano cocktail.

Why Is the Campari and Soda a Good Aperitif?

An aperitif is any beverage that's designed to stimulate the appetite and aid with digestion. As seen in gin and vermouth, this quality often comes from the botanical ingredients included in the liquor or fortified wine. Though the ingredients are kept secret, Campari is made with "bitter herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit," and is Italy's most famous aperitivo (Italian for the French word, aperitif). Any drink that includes it is naturally going to retain those characteristics. In the Campari and soda, those benefits are enhanced with the bubbly soda, and it will not dull the palate with sweeteners. Like a good wine pairing, it both allows you to fully enjoy the flavor of your food and enhances the dining experience.

How Strong Is the Campari and Soda?

The Campari and soda is a gentle drink. Two factors will affect the drink's strength: the amount of soda you pour and the bottling strength of the Campari (it varies by market). With the 3:1 mix and Campari sold in the U.S., the drink's alcohol content is about 6 percent ABV (12 proof) or similar to a strong beer.

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