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Cappelletti Aperitivo is an Italian red bitter liqueur that’s worth adding to your collection! It’s like a sweeter, easier to drink Campari.

Cappelletti aperitivo
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Love Campari? Here’s a new Italian red bitter liqueur to experiment with: Cappelletti! This aperitif is sweeter and easier to drink, making it a great option for drinkers new to Italian amari. But it’s just as great for cocktail connoisseurs: the sweet wine-based aperitivo has a roundness in flavor that’s unlike any you’ve tried. It’s great in a spritz and it’s even better in more unexpected pairings (like bourbon). Keep reading!

What is Cappelletti?

Cappelletti, aka Aperitivo Cappelletti, is a wine-based Italian red bitter aperitif that’s been produced by the Cappelletti family for four generations. The flavor is like a blend of Aperol and Campari: sweet and herbal, with a bitter finish. It’s not as popular in the US as its trendier cousins, but it’s starting to catch on.

Cappelletti is made with wine instead of a neutral spirit like other similar liqueurs, which gives a unique roundness to the flavor. The red color comes from natural carmine: the dye is made from insects! (This is similar to Campari, which was originally made with natural carmine.)

The producer of the liqueur, Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, was established in 1909. It sells other liquors like vermouth, amari, grappa, and more. So Cappelletti is the brand: the specific product name is Aperitivo Cappelletti.


What does Cappelletti taste like?

Cappelletti tastes sweet and herbal, with a round mouthfeel and subtly bitter finish. It’s like a mashup of Aperol and Campari: most of the sweetness of the former and half the bitterness of the latter. It blends beautifully into drinks.

How much alcohol is in Cappelletti? It is 17% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it’s midway between Aperol (11% ABV) and Campari (24% AV).

Why we like it

The sweetness of Cappelletti makes it an easier to drink variation on Campari. It’s great for mixing in drinks, and it’s much more versatile than just a Cappelletti Spritz. We think it’s best in the Cappelletti and Bourbon Cocktail below, inspired by a drink we had at a local restaurant (Bodhi). The Cappelletti simply shines. It’s tangy, complex, and perfectly balanced.

How much does it cost?

Compared to other liquors, Cappelleti aperitivo is low-priced. A 750 ml bottle costs about $17 to 20.

Best Cappelletti drinks

Cappelletti is most famously used in a Cappelletti Spritz: a spin on the Aperol Spritz that combines with liqueur with sparkling wine and soda water. But it’s even more interesting paired with spirits like bourbon! Try the star cocktail below: it’s a combination between the Paper Plane and classic Last Word and it’s a triumph.

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Cappelletti and Bourbon Cocktail

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Cappelletti Aperitivo is an Italian red bitter liqueur that’s worth adding to your collection! This drink is a spin on the Paper Plane and Last Word: complex, tangy, and totally balanced.




  1. Place the bourbon, Cappelletti, Green Chartreuse, and lemon juice in a cocktail mixing glass (or cocktail shaker). Add 2 handfuls of ice and stir until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass. If desired, garnish with a lemon peel.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More cocktail guides

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About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Holly Chapman says:

    Found this while searching for cocktails using Cappelletti. I did substitute Genépy for the Green Chartreuse (was told this was a good substitute when Chartreuse was hard to get). So good! A new favorite! I’ve become a clear ice snob after making it with your method. I’m spoiled now!

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!