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What is Campari?

 What is Campari?

 Campari is a spirit, an apéritif in the bitters category.

A spirit (as distinguished from a liqueur or a fortified wine) is an alcoholic liquid distilled from wine, beer, or any fermented grain or fruit. Because the "soul" or "spirit" of the source – the alcohol or whatever perceived medicinal value it had – was captured and concentrated through distillation, the resulting liquid was called a spirit.

The bitters category is comprised of spirits that have been flavored with bitter herbs, roots, bark, spices, or peels. At one end of the spectrum are those (such as Campari) that can be drunk straight; at the other end, are such powerfully bitter liquids, they are added only by drops to other drinks.

Bitters are thought to aid digestion – "unquestionably," according to one source – hence thy are generally placed in the digestif category (that is, drunk after a meal to help digestion). Campari is most often drunk as an apéritif, though, a light alcoholic beverage consumed before lunch or dinner.

Campari was created by Gaspare Campari in the 1860s and is still produced on the outskirts of Milan (as well as in France and Brazil). It is bright red, and gets much of its flavoring from the dried peel of bitter Seville oranges. Campari is classically served with soda water and a twist of lemon peel, but is also mixed in such classic cocktails as the Negroni and the Americano.

We can see why you came to Ochef for your information. Campari has the most frustrating Web site in all of creation – 347 introductions and very little actual information.

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