Campari Alternatives: More Aperitivo Liqueurs to Try

Although Campari is often the go-to aperitivo liqueur to turn to in classics drinks like a Negroni or an Americano, other bitter liqueurs fit the bill nicely. Here are a few alternatives to try!
Nov 23, 2019
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    Founded in 2015, Tattersall Distilling Co. makes a host of spirits including whiskey, gin, aquavit, and liqueurs at its Minneapolis distillery. Its Tattersall Bitter Orange is made from three varieties of orange and an undisclosed selection of spices.
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    Meletti 1870 Bitter Aperitivo is made with a blend of three distillates: a sweet orange, a bitter orange, and a spice and herb infusion. In addition to the citrus, disclosed botanicals include gentian, coriander, clove, and cinnamon. The bitter bright red liqueur gets its name from the year the Silvio Meletti Company was founded.
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    Select Aperitivo is made using 30 botanicals with juniper berries and rhubarb root being the standouts. The red bittersweet liqueur was founded in 1920 and celebrated throughout Venice. The Original Venetian Spritz recipe calls for 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Select Aperitivo, and 1 part soda and lots of ice. Garnish with a skewered green olive.
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    Leopold Bros. Aperitivo is an alternative to the more well known brand in this category: Campari. First introduced in 2015, ingredients such as gentian root, coriander, grapefruit peels, hyssop, and artemisia pontica are used. It is sweetened with cane sugar. In addition, natural cochineal, sourced ethically from South America is added to give the bitter liqueur the classic orange-red color.
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    Contratto Bitter Liqueur is made using 24 herbs, spices, roots, and seeds such as aloe, bitter and sweet orange peels, cardamom, cloves, gentian root, ginger, hibiscus, mint, rhubarb, sage, and wormwood among others. These botanicals are cold-infused in Italian brandy. The color is 100% natural from vegetable extracts (carrots and beets).
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    Peychaud's Aperitivo was launched in 2016 by its parent company, Sazerac, which also produces the classic Peychaud's Bitters. This bright red bitter liqueur is bottled at 22 proof.
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    Don Ciccio & Figli Ambrosia is an aperitivo crafted in Washington D.C. The bittersweet liqueur is made using all-natural ingredients such as turmeric, carrots, blood orange (from Florida), cantelope (from Virginia), and 9 botanicals sourced from Italy. The recipe dates back to 1908, from founder Francesco Amodeo's family.
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    Galliano l'Aperitivo is a bright red bitter liqueur made using a variety of infusions using Mediterranean citrus fruits including oranges, bergamots, bitter oranges, chinottos, tangerines, and grapefruit. Additionally, a touch of Galliano l'Autentico--the brand's classic herbal liqueur featuring 30 herbs, spices, and plant extracts-- is added. Featured botanicals include anise, juniper, cardamom, sandalwood, sage, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, and vanilla.
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    Gran Classico Bitter Liqueur is made using an original 1860s recipe made in Turin, Italy. Today, the Tempus Fugit brand makes it in Switzerland macerating 25 herbs and roots including wormwood, gentian, rhubarb, hyssop, and bitter orange peel among others. The maceration imparts an all-natural color to the bitter liqueur with no additional coloring needed.
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    Bruto Americano is made by St. George Spirits in Alameda, California. Like many bitter liqueurs, the list of ingredients is a closely held secret, but is made from a variety of different herbs, roots, and other botanicals. Disclosed ingredients include: California-grown gentian root, Seville orange, balsam fir, and cascara sagrada (bark from California buckthorn). Cochineal bugs, a natural and historic method of dying materials, are used to color the liqueur prior to bottling. The name, Bruto Americano means "ugly American"--a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that an American is creating an Italian aperitivo.
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    Luxardo Bitter Rosso is a red bitter liqueur from the Italian brand, best known for its Maraschino Liqueur. The brand's Bitter Rosso is made from an infusion of herbs, spices, and citrus fruits such as mint, marjoram, thyme, and bitter orange. Vegan friendly and Kosher certified.
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    Martini & Rossi's Riserva Speciale Bitter joined the product family in summer 2017. Inspired by the brand's original bitter recipe from 1872, the product was crafted to pair with Martini's Riserva Speciale Vermouth Di Torino in cocktails. In addition to Italian artemesia, the three key botanicals are saffron, angostura and columba.