Seeking Red Bitter Recommendations Are NOT Campari…

I just ran out of Campari and was contemplating a trip to the liquor store to buy a new bottle. But before I do, I thought I would ask the community if there is another red bitter that they would recommend I try instead for a change of pace and to expose me to something new and different (and better?). Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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I quite like Gran Classico. Can sub for Campari or Aperol. It has a lovely finish. I get some floral notes from it in addition to the flavors mentioned at the link.

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How are you planning to drink it? I’ve tried several things (Bruto Americano, Cappelletti, Carpano Botanic Bitter) and still haven’t found anything that quite fills the place that Campari does in a Negroni.

I haven’t tried Luxardo Bitter or Contratto though.

Depending on your application, the ABV and sweetness level may be very important.

Thanks for the reply— thinking about the various cocktail recipes that call for red bitter— negroni, boulevardier, old pal, rosita, etc.

I should also note that I generally prefer drier vs. sweet in cocktails…

I completely stopped buying Campari after the 2006 reformulation: it looked different and tasted different, so why bother? It’s just a brand. Worse, like some other big brands, Campari is bottled at different proofs in different markets, and has seen its proof drift about over the years, but mainly downward, from 28.5% to 25% in Europe, and we Americans have long been sent a lame 24% ABV version.

There are a slew of red bitters on the market and I tend to just bounce around between them for variety. Recently, I’ve been enjoying Meletti’s 1870.

They’re all interchangeable to some degree, but they’re definitely not identical. “Better” depends too much on a particular application and your personal preference.

Thank you, Martin! Definitely now have the sense that “one size fits all” will not be the way forward here and I will begin my “red bitter odyssey” using the suggestions I have (and hopefully will) receive from the community!

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I will endorse Forthave Red; it’s a little more spice‐oriented than Campari, so I favor it with rye or rum (especially rum!) a bit more than than I do with gin, but it’s certainly capable of working in a classic negroni.

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I like Fusetti, which I understand has made it to the US fairly recently.

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I enjoyed a sample of the new Aperitivo Mazzura on its own, but I haven’t had the opportunity to mix with it, yet. On the one hand, it’s wine-based and 17%; on the other hand, it’s wine-based and 17%.

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Just came across this article that I found helpful…

Aperitivo Hour: 7 Excellent Campari Alternatives for Your Next Negroni | VinePair.