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Campari is an alcoholic (alcohol 20.5%, 21%, 25% or 28% depending on the country in which it is purchased) apéritif obtained from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water. Campari is a type of bitters. It is a Campari Group brand.
Campari was invented by Gaspare Campari between 1862 and 1867. It was originally colored with carmine dye, derived from crushed cochineal insects, which gave the drink its distinctive red hue.
The history of Campari began in Novara, Italy, in 1860, with the invention by Gaspare Campari of the recipe that is still in use today. The recipe is kept confidential; according to Gruppo Campari, there is only one person in the world who knows the entire formula for the original family recipe.
In 1904, Campari's first production plant was opened in Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, Italy. The company required bars that bought Campari to display the ''Campari Bitters'' sign; under the direction of Davide Campari, Gaspare's son, the company began to export the brand, first to Nice, the heart of the French Riviera, then overseas. The Campari brand is now distributed in over 190 countries.
In the Italian market, Campari mixed with carbonated water is sold in individual bottles as Campari Soda (10% alcohol by volume). Campari Soda is packaged in a distinctive bottle that was designed by Fortunato Depero; it was first created in 1932. Campari is said to have been one of the inspirations behind another bitter sweet drink called Kinnie produced in Malta since 1952.
Campari is an essential ingredient in the classic Negroni cocktail, in the Garibaldi cocktail and also in the Americano, named at a time when few Americans were aware of Campari. Campari can be used to make a sorbet.
Campari was featured in the music videos for Candyman by Christina Aguilera and Lovegame by Lady Gaga.