First of all I have a confession to make. I really don’t like Campari. It tastes like nasty medicine to me but obviously thousands of Italians don’t agree as its one of the most popular drinks in Italy.
It is made by infusing a base of alcohol and water with a proprietary mix of herbs and fruits including rhubarb, orange and a variety of sour orange known as Chinotto in Italian. The infusion is then sweetened with sugar in the form of a simple syrup.
Campari was invented by Gaspare Campari who started working as a waiter and an apprentice liquorist at the age of 14,He then worked for the renowned Turin restaurant Del Cambio. There his customers included Vittorio Emanuele the first king of Italy and prime minister Cavour. He eventually bought a bar of his own and started to tinker about with cordials and bitters eventually stumbling onto the mixture that he liked. He set up his bar near the entrance to the new Galleria Vittoria Emanuele , the very upmarket shopping arcade in Milan and Campari soon became the aperitivo of choice throughout the whole country.