Don’t have this popular Italian bitter liqueur? Here’s the best Campari substitute to use when you’re mixing up cocktails.

Campari substitute

Making a cocktail that calls for Campari and don’t have it? Or want to mix up your Negroni? Don’t worry, there are few options that work for this unique liqueur! Campari is an Italian bitter with a bright red color. It’s easy to find, most popularly used in the Negroni. It tastes bitter, fruity, and spicy all at once, with notes of cherry, clove, cinnamon and orange peel.

First consider whether you need a substitute

When it comes to Campari, there’s really nothing like the real thing! If you’re on the fence about whether to run out and buy some: we highly recommend it! There’s really nothing like it. But if the store’s all out or you’re looking for a quick fix, here’s the best Campari substitute.

Best Campari substitute

1. Red amaro

The best Campari substitute? A red amaro. Amaro is the family of Italian bitter liqueurs that Campari is a part of. A few choices are Knight Gabriello Rosso Amaro or Aperix Aperativo. These red amaros don’t have exactly the same flavor as Campari, but they’re bittersweet and herbal. They also have a similar color!

2. Aperol

A Campari substitute to use in a pinch? Aperol. Aperol is another amaro or Italian bitter. But Aperol has a few major differences: it’s orange (not bright red), it’s sweet with a citrus finish (not bitter), and it has a much lower alcohol content. Read more at Campari vs Aperol.

Despite the major differences, Aperol works in a pinch! Keep in mind that if you’re using it in a Negroni or other drink, the drink will be sweeter, citrusy and less boozy.

Here are some Campari cocktail recipes to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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