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Campari, the classic aperitivo

How much do you know about the famous Italian mixer drink?

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_Merivale Campari activation
Photograph: Jiwon Kim
Retro campari prints
Photograph: Supplied

Campari has always been a symbol of intrigue and passion when it comes to aperitifs. The Milanese brand is famous throughout the world as an icon of Italian style and excellence.

Bitter, herbal, orange and sweet, the Campari recipe, used as the basis of many cocktails served worldwide, has been kept the same since its creation in 1860, and has remained a closely guarded secret passed down from generation to generation.

The easiest way to discover the versatility of Campari is by starting with Campari and Soda: Campari, soda water, ice and an orange wedge garnish. This drink has inspired such classic cocktails such as the Americano, Milano Torino Sbagliato, the Garibaldi and of course, the iconic Negroni.

Another facet of the Campari legend is its advertising. Campari has employed many greats of graphic design to create its famous posters. For instance, the futurist painter Fortunato Depero (1892-1960) designed the famous Campari Soda bottle in 1932 (it’s still in production!) and his angular, blocky poster prints are simultaneously retro and futuristic.

Lenoetto Cappiello (1875-1942) was an innovative designer whose famous 1921 Campari poster features a clown and an orange peel. Marcello Nizzoli (1887-1969) is known for designing Olivetti’s famous typewriters, and his 1926 still life Campari poster regularly fetches over A$6,000 at auction. Franz Marangolo (1912-1995) created posters for Campari during the 1950s and ‘60s that are famous for their light, playful touch.


Drink responsibly.