Campari

$ — 25% ABV — Red

The Italian flag may be red for St. Ambrose, but it's dyed with Campari. This immensely popular aperitivo became regionally ubiquitous with Milan in a glass of Prosecco wine, but supposedly its racy color became famous the world over when a love-struck Davide Campari chased an opera singer halfway round the world, spreading his family drink as he went.

Campari is made with a steeping of 68 ingredients in distilled water and liquor, which is then sweetened and dyed. Its main notes come from the anti-malarial quinine as well as bitter oranges, rhubarb and a horde of herbs. Quite powerful, it's a bit hard to mix with Campari. It only seems to like oranges, and sometimes grapefruit, hence the very popular Negroni cocktail.

The original 1867 recipe has stayed near-completely intact, with the small substitution of using modern food coloring instead of non-vegan carmine dye. Some debate this has made modern Campari more of a fire engine red than it used to be, but drinkers certainly aren't complaining.

Campari also owns the softer, sweeter and brighter Aperol, often quoted as Campari's 'younger brother.' Both are very easily found at most liquor stores. The Negroni is so popular, there are many more 'red' aperitivi; some will play better with your favorite gin than others.

Campari is located in Milan, Lombardy in Northern Italy. Established in 1867 by Gaspare Campari, it is now the head of a conglomerate.