The Best Campari Cocktails Ranked

Garnet-colored and delectably bitter with notes of bright orange and herbs, Campari is one of the world's premier aperitifs, blending boldly and beautifully into cocktails or delicious all on its own with a twist of orange. If there's anything that Campari distinctly brings to the table, it's a uniquely herbaceous taste and an unapologetic intensity that's reflected both in its ruby hue and trademark taste. The liqueur instantly elevates any drink with its saturated red color, and that's even before it hits your lips in the first sip.

Herbal, floral, and citrus-tinged on the nose with a silken texture and rich natural taste (via Campari), this aperitif stands alone in a world of too-sweet mixers and one-note cocktails. While you can certainly savor a chilled shot of Campari on its own, true connoisseurs know that there's undeniable magic in the old-school or modern cocktails that have been tried and tested over time.

14. Milano-Torino

According to Punch, the simple but inspired Milano-Torino (Mi-To for short) emerged on the fine drinks scene back in 1860. The cocktail enjoyed a fair amount of success in the latter part of the 1800s and was roundly enjoyed by drink lovers in the know (via Chilled Magazine). Its name reflects the origin of the key ingredients, which include sweet vermouth and bitter Campari. 

This classic cocktail went through several iterations, with bartenders swapping out soda water for gin and adding inventive pinches of citrus bitters to amp up the Campari flavor. Unfortunately, while the sweet and bitter flavors of vermouth and Campari certainly work, this cocktail is a one-and-done kind of drink for most people. It's got a relatively low ABV, but the vermouth aftertaste can get a bit cloying after the first few sips, leaving the Campari lost in the shuffle at the back end.

Serve your Milano-Torino with a nice citrus garnish, or if you're feeling super fancy unfurl a curl of cool cucumber to offset the potency of the Campari and vermouth. The crunchy cucumber adds a nice textural element as well.

13. Boulevardier

A decadent and deeply-toned drink, the Boulevardier is a heady combo of Campari, vermouth, and whiskey that achieved barroom infamy thanks to American Prohibition and an overseas drinks magazine after which it was named (via The Drink Nation). While the Boulevardier might have been the drink du jour for the swingin' Jazz Age, it is still very much an acquired taste with its aggressive interplay of big flavors like bitter Campari, high-proof whiskey, and sweet vermouth.

In short, if you don't really appreciate the taste of straight booze, the Boulevardier is not the cocktail for you. There's no soda water or non-alcoholic mixers to cut the flavors, and the bitterness and burn of the two prominent liquors clearly shine through in each sip. According to Imbibe Magazine, the Boulevardier made an appearance before the famous teetotaling twenties, although it lacked the glitz and allure it would later achieve. When Prohibition shut down Harry McElhone's Plaza Hotel Bar, he hopped across the pond to Paris and opened an establishment with his name, slinging cocktails like the Boulevardier and irritating the IRS.

Today, you can order a Boulevardier at virtually any high-end bar. However, the combination of ingredients could put off novice drinkers, and you might even catch a buzz from a single whiff.

12. Jungle Bird

Taste aside, the Jungle Bird is a straight-up pretty drink. According to Thirst Magazine, it first took flight in Kuala Lumpur's Hilton in the early 1970s as a nod to the hotel's resident flock of birds. Vivid crimson with a thin float of white foam and tropical fruits, the Jungle Bird is the ultimate old-school sip and a more sophisticated bet than an overly sweet margarita or daiquiri calorie bomb.

Jungle Birds are bold drinks given the heavy splash of Campari and bright flavors. According to Robb Report, traditional Jungle Bird recipes lean in hard to the bitterness of Campari, pairing it with equally potent flavors like dark rum and fruit juices. Campari and pineapple juice make a great match with a splash of lime juice, and if your at-home Jungle Bird is a bit too tart, just up the ratio of simple syrup to even out the flavors.

As Paste Magazine notes, Jungle Bird is the ultimate tiki cocktail, outlasting the swinging '70s thanks to its inspired blend of premium ingredients. Instead of relying on sugary mixers, the Jungle Bird goes full flavor. It's an excellent drink for people who like the combo of puckery sourness, bitterness, and sweet fruit.

11. Beer Shandy

According to NPR, the preferred drink of summer is a shandy, a fun and frothy fusion of beer, soda, lemonade, or your favorite aperitif. The good thing about shandies is that they're almost impossible to screw up as long as you pour your mixer with a relatively light hand and taste as you go. Although most start with a beer base and add in citrus flavors like lemonade or lime soda, you can also go a more chic and attractive route with Campari.

Campari is one of the best drinks to mix with beer because it's fruity, refreshing, and has notes of bitterness that gel well with the existing hops and malt in the draft. Superior shandies start with lagers or pale ales, as stouts, strong IPAs, and other more potent styles might muddy the taste of the Campari. Adding fresh fruit or juice is an excellent way to take it up to eleven. Campari shandies might not appeal to beer snobs because the beer's flavor will get slightly masked by the aperitif. On the other hand, if you're looking for a punchy and delightful summertime sip and don't mind some residual bitterness, reach for one of these red-tinged cocktails.

10. Old Pal

According to Wine Enthusiast, some people make the rookie and unfortunate mistake of classifying the vintage cocktail Old Pal as being a Negroni with rye. Although there is a fair amount of rye flavor floating through this drink, there's a whole lot more to it too. Old Pal fundamentally changes the flavor profile of a Negroni by using dry vermouth for a deep spiciness and pepper-filled palate that plays nicely with the Campari and headier tones of the rye. It's an undeniably grown-up cocktail, one that people who appreciate a fine rye whiskey will undoubtedly gravitate toward, but it might be too much for the uninitiated.

Like the Boulevardier, Old Pal cocktails were famous at Harry's Bar in Paris during American Prohibition. According to The Gastronom, Harry MacElhone of Harry's Bar fame christened the cocktail "Old Pal" after his friend William Robinson. This drink should fit the bar bill if you find Campari cocktails a touch too sweet for your taste.

9. Campari Spritz

Campari Spritzes are snazzy pale red cocktails with tons of fizz and personality that are dead easy to make. According to CT Insider, Campari Spritzes are aperitifs, conventionally enjoyed with appetizers and pre-dinner snacks. To make one, stir up Campari, Prosecco, and soda water in the quantities you prefer. Or, follow the company's recommendations and use a two to three to one ratio respectively (via Campari). It's a relatively old drink hailing back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Campari adds a zesty bitterness and a dash of herbal flavor to the humble blend of sparkling wine and soda water.

One of this drink's key selling points is that you can make it as high or low octane ABV-wise as you'd like. If you want a bit more bitterness and punch add more Campari. Otherwise, a splash will do just fine and leave you with a drink perfect for mid-summer brunches or light and lazy Sunday Fundays. The Campari Spritz scores significant marks because it's super simple to make and nearly universally palatable. With no harsh aftertaste and a delightful burst of bubbles, it's a winner. Plus, you can spruce your spritz up with some sliced fruit which is bound to soak up the goodness from the Prosecco and Campari. Although you can use other aperitifs like Aperol in your spritzes, there's something special about ruby-hued Campari.

8. Campari Old Fashioned

Chic vintage drinks oozing with old Hollywood glamor and glitz, Old Fashioneds are what you reach for when you've graduated from overly-sweet vodka crans and want a sip that allows you to appreciate the depth and breadth of your favorite liquors. Adding Campari to the mix only elevates the drink further, giving it a bitter baseline that allows maraschino cherries, orange peel, and whiskey to shine.

Like Old Pals, Campari Old Fashioneds rely on rye whiskey (via Whiskey Rebellion Trail), and the combination of the two can be a little robust for those who don't like bold drinks. On the other hand, if you're a rye whiskey aficionado and love the traditional flavors of an Old Fashioned, give this version a try. Essentially, it's three parts rye whiskey, one part Campari, simple syrup or a sugar cube, a dash of bitters, and muddled fruit. Popularized in the 1860s, the Old Fashioned still enjoys drink legacy status today.

The best way to properly integrate the flavors is to muddle the sugar cube and bitters. Some bartenders even muddle the fruit to distribute the taste evenly in each sip. The Campari Old Fashioned isn't for everyone, but if you appreciate old-school flavors and welcome a bold blast of booze, put it on your must-drink list.

7. Campari Sangria

Sangria is the ultimate cocktail for groups, served in a big bowl studded with alcohol-soaked fruits. Whether you're going for a classic red sangria or a lighter, brighter, summertime-forward sweet white sangria, the options are virtually endless. Most good sangrias rely on a kick of liqueur to round off the wine and tie the whole drink together, and Campari is a perfectly suitable option with its citrusy flavors and bitter edge. In addition, Campari infuses depth and substance into your sangria, elevating the beverage from pleasantly pedestrian to super sophisticated.

Since making sangria isn't an exact science, one of the important — and fun — steps is to taste as you go. In terms of wine, you'll want to go with something heavily fruity to play off the flavors of Campari and sliced fruit. As for the fruits to use in your sangria, citrus works beautifully so add in plenty of oranges, lemons, and limes. You can also use berries, which sop up the flavor and play off the tart and bitter notes. If you're using Campari for your sangria, it will be a lot more layered and nuanced rather than sweet, a pleasant change from run-of-the-mill versions.

6. Classic Negroni

When you think of the quintessential Campari sip, there's a good chance that your mind wanders in the direction of a Negroni. According to Difford's Guide, this classic cocktail has a long and celebrated history that goes back over 100 years to a bar in Florence. As liquor lore goes, Count Camillo Negroni swapped gin for soda water in his Americano, and a brand new Campari cocktail was born. The drink even picked up some celeb steam in the middle of the century when silver screen luminary Orson Welles praised the boozy blend of gin and Campari.

Untold renditions and variations later, the original classic Negroni is still going strong, a perennial fave around the world (via The New York Times). You don't need to travel to your local watering hole to get one, as long as you remember the cardinal rule for fixing up a solid Negroni: Always stir the drink with care rather than shaking it which disrupts the texture and flavor profile.

Classic Negronis have a luxe flavor combination and a boozy burst from the gin. Use high-quality gin, Campari to taste, and a light citrus garnish, and you'll have a drink full of botanicals and woodsy flavor. Although predictable, Negronis are far from pedestrian.

5. Garibaldi

For an elegant spin on your standard mimosa, reach for a Campari-based Garibaldi. A simple but scrumptious blend of Campari and freshly-squeezed orange juice has most of the flavors in a basic mimosa, with a dash of bitterness and a crimson hue. Since you're only using two ingredients, it's essential to have premium OJ on hand and serve these cocktails immediately.

According to, the quintessential Garibaldi contains a special kind of orange juice, the product of vigorous aeration. You can make your orange juice super fluffy with a handheld immersion blender. While seemingly silly on the face, this step is imperative to nailing the consistency and taste of the drink. Properly aerated OJ picks up and amplifies the Campari, giving the whole beverage a near-milkshake quality. It's tart, bitter, and just a touch sweet, so if you're the sort of person who takes seven sugars in their morning coffee, you might want to give it a pass. If you embrace bitterness and bold, juicy, tart flavors, swap out your mimosa for a boozy brunch treat.

4. Enzoni

There are precious few cocktails out there featuring grapes, which is one of the reasons why the Enzoni sparks so much joy. This relatively new Campari cocktail only hails back to 2003 (via Arsenic Lace), making it not even old enough to drink itself. In the short time that it's been on the bar scene, it has already made quite the impression thanks to the jammy and irresistible marriage of fresh concord grapes, Campari, simple syrup, lemon, and high-quality gin. A spin on classic cocktails like the Negroni, the Enzoni sits in a category of its own with its use of an often-overlooked ingredient.

As the San Diego Reader notes, this pivotal cocktail has also inspired several other riffs that highlight the refreshing mix of flavors and bitterness. So if you love the interplay of bold liquors you get from classic cocktails, give the Enzoni a try. The grapes are a pleasant, unexpected addition that works well with the rest of the ingredients, yielding a potent, punchy, and drinkable cocktail.

3. Bicicletta

Like a generous pour of July in a glass, Biciclettas are both whimsical and delightful ruby-hued, citrus-forward drinks perfect for enjoying during the dog days of summer. According to DuJour, this classic Italian drink is a simple fusion of soda water, white wine, and Campari. Although akin to a spritzer, Biciclettas are slightly distinct thanks to the specific variety of wine used — the drier, the better. There are plenty of white wines to choose from, most of them bone-dry and perfect for the Bicicletta.

The drink's simple formula makes it the ideal canvas for all sorts of creative riffs and renditions. According to the Chicago Tribune, you can make a Dirty Bicicletta by using flavored soda and swapping out the traditional white wine for rosé if desired. If you're really feeling creative, toss in some citrus fruits for a nice nod to sangria. These drinks are refreshing, fun, and light enough to appeal even to those who aren't totally sold on Campari's bitter and robust flavor profile.

2. Campari and Soda

The timeless Campari and soda is the simple fusion of two elegant ingredients: effervescent soda and bright Campari. According to Campari's website, this cocktail is over 100 years old and incredibly popular thanks to the delicate balance of flavors. Once you get the ratio down, it's a breeze to make so you can savor your Campari soda in style, as sippers in the know have been doing for a century.

What really makes this drink sing is the neutral palate of the soda water. It's the perfect foil for stronger, bright citrus flavors and Campari's signature bitterness. Add in some bubbly carbonation, and you have a drink that skews just sweet enough to be palatable but layered enough to be interesting. You can also purchase pre-mixed Campari soda bottles if you want a ready-to-drink format. This drink would appeal to those relatively new to Campari who want to appreciate its taste in a lighter and slightly diluted form without other flavors. It also takes seconds to put together, and as long as you have a highball glass, some ice, chilled Campari, and soda water, you're good to go.

1. Negroni Sbagliato

"House of Dragon" fans or anyone with reliable internet access may have recently picked up the serious buzz about a less familiar Campari cocktail known as the Negroni Sbagliato. In a now-viral clip, Emma D'Arcy details their favorite cocktail in dulcet tones, sparking attention from all over the interwebs as to what precisely this Prosecco spiked Negroni could be. In short, a Negroni Sbagliato is a classic Negroni where Prosecco (or any sparkling wine) stands in for gin, lending a light and luscious flavor to the drink.

Although the internet is currently going bananas for D'Arcy and their fondness for Negroni Sbagliatos (via Wine Enthusiast), the drink has been around since the end of the 1980s. According to the story, it resulted from a happy accident when a bartender added Prosecco instead of gin by mistake (via Bar School). Sbagliato, the Italian word for wrong or by mistake, followed as the new drink's obvious name. This "mistake" has been recreated several times, and with D'Arcy's stamp of approval, it seems to have undergone a new renaissance. 

Order one if you like the taste of a classic Negroni but want something a little lighter on the ABV. The Prosecco lends a fun bubbly twist, and it's a fantastic drink for tending your dragons or sipping at brunch.