Campari Cocktail

Campari Cocktail

The Spruce / Qi Ai

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
133 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*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 cocktail is one of the best drinks to feature the distinctive Italian aperitif in all its glory. It's an excellent choice to serve before dinner.

This recipe is among the most Campari-forward cocktails you can mix up because the aperitif's bitter flavor dominates the drink. Vodka is added as a backup for a bit of unflavored dilution, while the bitters are a nice accent that helps maintain the drink's balance.

Served at just over 2 ounces, the Campari cocktail is an incredibly small drink. It isn't the type of cocktail that most people will want to drink for an extended period of time. Instead, it's designed to be a short, elegant sipper that stimulates the digestive system before eating. It fulfills its purpose as an aperitif perfectly.

This drink can catch people by surprise. While you may not thoroughly enjoy the Campari cocktail the first time you taste it, give it another try because it really is fascinating. With a little time and dedication, you can develop a palate for it, and this cocktail may even become a new favorite.

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"The Campari cocktail is definitely an acquired taste. But if you like Negronis you’ll probably like this. Stiff and very bitter, it's a good option for a pretty dinner drink, but probably won't be the drink you'll stick with all night. You may want to try swapping Aperol for Campari for a less bitter option." —Tom Macy

The Campari Cocktail Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Campari Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.

    Pour the cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  3. Shake well.

    cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    strain cocktail into the glass

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

  5. Garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy.

    Campari Cocktail garnished with a lemon twist

    The Spruce / Qi Ai

Tips

  • While Campari and bitters define this popular drink, it is important to choose the vodka wisely. Stick with top-shelf vodkas that are nice and clean, and you will have a great Campari cocktail.
  • If you are new to the taste of Campari, consider reversing the proportions, and pour more vodka than Campari at first. As you get used to the taste, slowly switch them back to the original proportions in the recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Citrus vodka pairs well with Campari. You might like how it softens the bitter profile.
  • You can also add other citrus elements—particularly orange—to this drink. For instance, the Campari cosmo combines citrus vodka, orange juice, and triple sec with Campari to create a lovely drink.
  • Instead of aromatic bitters, give orange bitters a try. Angostura also makes that flavor, though there are others that will work just as well. Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6 is an excellent option, and you can find orange bitters from Fee Brothers, Scrappy's, and The Bitter Truth.
  • If you'd like to serve this drink a little taller, strain it over ice into an old-fashioned glass and add a splash of club soda. Pouring as much as 3 ounces of soda results in a drink similar to the Americano.

How Strong Is a Campari Cocktail?

The Campari cocktail is a very strong drink, which is another good reason to keep it short. When made with 80-proof vodka, it will have an alcohol content of around 24 percent ABV (48 proof). It's just a little lighter than a vodka martini.