Photo / Supplied

Why You Should Embrace Aperitivo... And How To Do It With Style

Campari and tradition combine to add a taste of Italian elegance to your evening at home

If you, like us, are yearning to be sipping a golden–hour Aperitivo street side in Italy while you contemplate what to have for dinner, there’s one drink that will transport your mind and uplift your home life; Campari. The ritual of the Aperitivo need not be reserved for European sojourns or even nights out at your local bar — we encourage you to make it part of your evening routine at home, adding a genteel flair to the post-work decompress.

Representative of the romance and elegance of travel, Aperitivo is an artful Italian tradition with a long history — Milan is considered its birthplace, however it’s a country-wide pastime that has since spread around the world, beloved for its graceful approach to imbibing alcohol. Aperitivo hour denotes the wedge of time between work and dinner, and offers the luxury of relaxation. It’s defined by (and shares its name with) what is drunk; a traditional Aperitivo cocktail is light and bitter, and helps stimulate the appetite and cleanse the palette.

The famous Italian liqueur Campari is the base of many Aperitivi, and its distinctive taste flavour comes from a mixture of aromatic plants, fruit, and bitter herbs. Originating in 1860 in the north of Italy, it has since become emblematic of Italian passion and style — and a signature drink of Aperitivo culture. The bitterness of Campari may take some getting used to — its best to start with a simple Campari & Soda or Aperol Spritz. As your palette evolves and you come to love the bitter, aromatic flavour profile, it’s time to indulge in something stronger like a Negroni,
Americano or Sbagliato.

By setting an hour aside to enjoy a strong, elegant cocktail with a bold flavour, you have the chance to punctuate your daily routine with a splash of passion.In true European tradition, an Aperitivo is best enjoyed with a handful of friends as you entertain from the comfort of your own home. Regardless of how you do it and which Campari cocktail is more your style, Apertivo hour is a beloved tradition for a reason and one well worth making your own.


  • 60ml Campari
  • Top with soda water
  • Serve over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with wedge of orange.


Simple and balanced, it’s considered to be one of the most famous Italiano cocktails in the world. Invented in 1919 in Florence, Italy, by Count Camillo Negroni — who asked to add a touch of gin rather than soda to his Americano, in honour of his last trip to London — the cocktail was finally named after the Count who adored it. The original recipe, the perfectly balanced combination of equal parts of Campari, red vermouth and London Dry gin, is over 100 years old and continues to be enjoyed worldwide today. There is no Negroni without Campari!

  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml gin
  • 30ml red vermouth
  • Pour all ingredients directly into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a wedge or slice of orange.


The Americano is a lighter–style cocktail and a foundation drink of the Negroni.

  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml red vermouth
  • Splash of soda water
  • Pour the Campari and red vermouth directly into a short glass. Fill with ice cubes. Add a splash of soda water. Garnish with an orange slice or lemon peel.


Sparkling wine was accidentally added instead of gin to a Negroni and the Sbagliato was born. In Italian ‘sbagliato’ means mistaken. Ideal for those who want to enjoy a few bubbles without having to forget the classic Negroni flavours.

  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml red vermouth
  • Top with Italian prosecco
  • Build in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange.


Invented during the 1920s prohibition and served up American–style, the Boulevardier is backed up with bourbon.

  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml red vermouth
  • 45ml bourbon whiskey
  • Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


Love an Aperol Spritz? You might like this too. A refreshing, spritz–style cocktail, with Campari flavours enhanced by sparkling Italian prosecco.

  • 60ml Campari
  • 90ml Italian prosecco
  • Splash of soda water
  • Fill a large wine glass with ice. Pour in prosecco followed by Campari then soda. Garnish with a slice of orange.

For more information visit Campari.com

Share this:
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Subscribe to E-Newsletter