Cappelletti Aperitivo is an Italian red bitter liqueur that’s worth adding to your collection! It’s like a sweeter, easier to drink Campari.
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 (This is similar to Campari, which was originally made with natural carmine.)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.
- 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.
- 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
More cocktail guides
Need more liquor guides? We’ve got them! Here’s all you need to know about home bartending:
- Aperol Guide and Campari Guide All you need to know about these Italian liqueurs.
- Baileys Guide All the ins and outs of Irish Cream.
- Chartreuse Guide This pale green liqueur is worth adding to your collection…here’s why.
- Cointreau Guide, Blue Curacao Guide, or Orange Liqueur Guide Citrus liqueurs…broken down.
- Galliano Guide Is this bright yellow liqueur worth buying?
- Grenadine Guide It’s mistaken as cherry, but this bright syrup has a secret.
- Fernet Branca Guide Here’s why people love this Italian bitter.
- Hpnotiq Guide What’s the deal with this blue liqueur from the 2000’s?
- Kahlua Guide Learn about this popular Mexican coffee liqueur
- Limoncello What you need to know about this Italian citrus liqueur
- Peanut Butter Whiskey Guide All about the uniquely nutty Skrewball
- Pernod More about this anise-flavored liqueur