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DrinkUp.London’s guide to Italian Bitter Aperitivo Liqueurs

15/09/2016

There's more to aperitivo hour than Campari (although we certainly wouldn't go without it)... here's a guide to Italy's best bitter aperitivo liqueurs.

CAMPARI

An Italian bitter liqueur aperitif created in the 19th century in a coffee shop in Milan by Gaspare Campari. This liqueur is flavoured with a bewildering array of 68 herbs and spices and is an absolute staple to most aperitivo cocktails. 

APEROL

Aperol is a low-strength aperitif made since 1919 to a secret recipe including both rhubarb and orange along with a wide assortment of herbs and roots. Immensely popular in Italy, its home country, it provides the backbone to the loved Aperol Spritz and has seeped into modern cocktail culture, providing the sharpness through drinks such as the East 8 Hold Up.

NARDINI BITTER LIQUEUR​

A bitter Aperitivo in the style of Campari, but with less acidity and more herbal flavours. It's coloured using vegan and kosher friendly ingredients.

LUXARDO BITTER

Luxardo Bitter is a delicious aperitif from the Italian experts. A combination of sweet and bitter oranges, rhubarb, mint, marjoram and thyme as well as other fruits and herbs; this is will a tasty addition to cocktails. 

MARTINI BITTER

A vivid red bitter aperitif from Martini, encroaching on the market that is traditionally dominated by Campari. This is a bit less bitter than the market leader, with extra rich sweetness under the quinine heavy bitterness.

undefinedQUAGLIA BITTER BERTO

Berto is a classic bitter from Italian producer Quaglia. First created in the early 20th century and tweaked for modern-day cocktails, the ingredients include gentian root, bitterwood and alpine daisy. Intense, sweet and aromatic.

QUAGLIA APERITIVO BERTO 

Apertivo Berto from Quaglia in Italy is a classic aperitif. Made by infusing spirit with orange peel, rhubarb and gentian, this is light and fresh and a superb cocktail ingredient.

RISERVA CARLO ALBERTO BITTER ROUGE

A bottle of red bitters from Riserva Carlo Alberto. This has a subtle bitterness with notes of spices and citrus fruit.

TURIN BITTER TUVE 

The Bitter entry in Turin's Tuvé range is a blend of herbs, aromatic plants, spices and citrus fruit – a modern take on an Italian classic. This is bright red in colour and can be enjoyed in a long drink or cocktail of your choice.

APERITIVO SELECT

An Italian Grappa-based aperitif infused with a variety of herbs and spices. Poli are quite popular for their Jacopo Poli grappa, so it's no mystery where they get the base for this aperitif.

GALLIANO L'APERITIVO

Galliano L'Aperitivo is an Italian bitter amaro that combines the herbs and spices from the original L'Authentico with citrus fruit. The ingredients include sage, lavender, anise, vanilla, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. This works as both an after-dinner drink on its own or in long drinks or cocktails, including a Spritz.

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