A advert for Campari dated from 1981 featuring two window cleaners drinking a nice glass of Campari.
Campari is an alcoholic (alcohol 20.5%; 41 proof) aperitif obtained from the infusion of sixty ingredients, combined and macerated in a blend of distilled water and alcohol. Campari is a type of bitters.
Campari was invented by Gaspare Campari between 1862 and 1867. Today the product is still composed of the same original ingredients, thanks to a formula which has remained a secret for almost 150 years. Campari is obtained from the infusion of bitter and aromatic herbs, plants and fruit in alcohol and water.
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, the Chairman, Luca Garavoglia, with the help of the technical director and eight employees, produces the base concentrate. Garavoglia is the only person in the world who knows the entire formula for the original family recipe. However, among the ingredients are quinine and other bitter herbs, rhubarb, spices, ginseng, bergamot oil, and orange peel. It is known that the colour came from natural Carmine Cochineal E20, but the Gruppo Campari in many countries has shifted to an artificial colorant. One of the main ingredients is bark from Cascarilla trees that grow in the Bahamas.
In 1904, Campari’s first production plant was opened in Sesto San Giovanni. The company required bars that bought Campari to display the Campari Bitters sign; under the direction of Davide Campari 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, and, wittily, in the Americano, named at a time when few Americans were aware of Campari. Campari can be used to make a sorbet.
History taken from Wikipedia