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The 5 Best Substitutes for Campari

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Ready to give your classic cocktail recipes a colorful upgrade? Campari is the perfect way to add a splash of vibrancy (not to mention some serious bite).

The exact recipe for Campari is a closely guarded secret, but we do know that it contains around 40 different ingredients, including orange peel and cloves.

Campari is typically served neat or on the rocks, but it also forms the base of several classic cocktails, like the Negroni and the Americano.

If you’re looking for something similar to Campari, there are several good substitutes.

Aperol is a popular option, as it shares many of the same flavor profiles as Campari.

Other good substitutes include Cynar, Punt e Mes, and Amer Picon.

So, whether you’re looking for a Campari substitute for your next negroni or just want to explore some new flavors, give one of these options a try.

What is Campari?

Campari is an Italian bitter that is typically used as an aperitif.

It is made from a blend of herbs, flowers, and fruits and has a deep red color.

The exact recipe for Campari is a closely guarded secret, but it is known to contain citrus peel, rhubarb, and ginseng.

The drink was first created in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Milan.

It quickly became popular, and today it is enjoyed all over the world.

Campari has a strong, bitter flavor that is often offset by sweeteners or mixers.

It can be served neat or on the rocks, but it is most commonly used in cocktails such as the Negroni and the Americano.

Whether you are new to Campari or have been enjoying it for years, there are many ways to enjoy this unique spirit.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Campari

Unfortunately, Campari is not always easy to find.

If you can’t find Campari or you’re looking for something similar, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.

1 – Aperol

Aperol is an Italian liqueur that is often used in cocktails.

It has a distinctively bitter taste, with notes of orange and rhubarb.

Aperol is usually served neat or on the rocks, but it can also be used as a substitute for Campari in cocktails.

To make a substitution, simply use equal parts Aperol and soda water.

This will result in a drink that is less bitter than Campari but still has a refreshing flavor.

So next time you’re looking for a unique cocktail ingredient, try Aperol.

2 – Punt e Mes

Punt e Mes is a bitter red aperitif that originates from Italy.

It is made by adding sweet and bitter herbs to Nebbiolo wine, and it gets its name from the Italian phrase “punto e mes” which means “point and a half”.

Punt e Mes has a strong, herbal flavor with hints of orange peel, cardamom, and clove.

It is often used as a substitute for Campari in cocktails such as the Boulevardier and the Negroni.

To make a Punt e Mes substitution for Campari, simply combine equal parts Punt e Mes and sweet vermouth.

Add a dash of Angostura bitters, and stir well.

You’ll end up with a delicious cocktail that has all the complex flavors of Campari without bitterness.

3 – Cynar

Cynar is an amaro or herbal liqueur that is characterized by its bittersweet flavor and dark color.

It is made with artichoke leaf extract, which gives it its distinctive taste.

Cynar can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into cocktails.

It is often used as a substitute for Campari in drinks such as the Negroni and Americano.

When substituting Cynar for Campari, keep in mind that it is slightly sweeter and milder in flavor.

As a result, you may want to increase the amount of gin or vodka in your cocktail to balance out the sweetness.

Whether you’re enjoying it neat or mixing it into a cocktail, Cynar is a delicious way to add a bit of bitterness to your glass.

4 – Amer Picon

Amer Picon is a bittersweet French liqueur that is often used in place of Campari.

While the two liqueurs share some similarities, Amer Picon has a sweeter taste and is less bitter than Campari.

Amer Picon can be used in a wide variety of cocktails, and it is especially well-suited for drinks that feature citrus or sweet flavors.

If you want to experiment with Amer Picon, try substituting it for Campari in a classic cocktail such as the Negroni or the Americano.

You may be surprised by how much the flavor of your drink changes.

5 – Fernet Branca

Fernet-Branca is an Italian bitter herbal liqueur that is often used as a digestif.

It has a strong, bitter taste that can be off-putting to some people.

However, it can be a helpful digestive aid, and it also makes a great cocktail ingredient.

If you’re looking for a Campari substitute, Fernet-Branca is a good option.

It has a similar bitterness, and it can also add depth and complexity to a cocktail.

When using Fernet-Branca as a substitute for Campari, be sure to start with a smaller amount, as it is more potent than Campari.


In conclusion, there are many delicious substitutes for Campari.

If you’re looking for a Campari substitute, try one of the liqueurs listed above.

These include Aperol, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Amer Picon, and Fernet Branca.

Each of these liqueurs has a unique flavor that can add something special to your cocktail.

So next time you’re in the mood for a Campari-based drink, try one of these substitutes and see how it changes the flavor of your favorite cocktail.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Campari

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Aperol

  • Punt e Mes

  • Cynar

  • Amer Picon

  • Fernet Branca


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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