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THE CAMPARI EXPERIENCE
THE BEST BARS TO DRINK CAMPARI COCKTAILS
For those unfamiliar with the brand Campari; it’s an Italian liqueur dating back to 1860. Gruppo Campari is a leading player in the global branded beverage industry with a portfolio counting more than 50 premium and super premium brands across three segments: spirits, wines and soft drinks. The group is today the 6th largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, and their products are marketed and distributed in more than 190 countries in the world.
Last month I visited Campari themselves to experience not only the famous drink but the lifestyle surrounding it, at the home of Campari in Milan; Italy.
I was taken to the best bars to experience Campari and visited their HQ. Based in Sesto San Giovanni adjacent to the original villa owned by the famous Campari family themselves; which is now a restaurant. We were met with gallery director Paolo Cavallo who immersed us into the history of the brand and the journey Campari has taken through marketing each Calender Campaign and every type of bottle they ever created... The gallery even has the Campari zesty orange scent oozing at the entrance!
We even got a go at cocktail making and mixology ourselves at the ‘Campari Academy’ on site, this was a really fun experience, so if you take an interest in the brand it’s worth visiting the gallery. To Italian people it’s been a significant part of their lifestyle for many years to enjoy a Campari or Aperol ‘apertif’ together before dinner.
As for places to try a Campari cocktail, these bars are a must..
Galleria in Camparino – Piazza del Duomo
The bar named after Campari and where it all began, a beautiful setting with the Duomo in sight and on the corner of the Vittorio Emmanuele walkway. This is the best place to experience Campari in all its glory. Classic Campari cocktails mixed with the likes of Cinzano, Wild Turkey and Prosecco.
Bar Basso – Via Plinio
This is the oldest and most popular cocktail bar in Milan. It oozes history and class of it’s own. They even serve the classic ‘Negroni’ cocktails in their original large glasses. A cocktail bar for true connoisseurs who can recognise and appreciate when a drink is prepared, needless to say, if you new to the drink the staff are welcoming and friendly - you won’t feel out of place.
Café Trussardi - Piazza Della Scala
If you want modern and sophisticated give this contemporary and fashionable bar a try. A stones throw away from the famous La Scala opera house, with a cocktail menu full of surprises and innovative ideas, this bar has a great atmosphere and excellent staff.
Terrazza Aperol – Piazza del Duomo
For a buzzing atmosphere and a central location, head to the Terrazza Aperol. Enjoy a glass of Aperol and light snacks where you’ll be surrounded by young people and as the Italians would say "la bella vista" of the Duomo. However, if you’re not planning a trip to Milan anytime soon there are places in London in which you can experience Campari nestled in East, Central and West London.
Ace Hotel - Shoreditch High Street
A great stylish hotel bar and fantastic restaurant to accompany after you enjoy your cocktail... or two.
Jones Family Project - Great Eastern Street
Again this place has a great restaurant, however upstairs is bar serving both barrel ages Negroni’s and for as little as £5 during the week.
Princi - Wardour Street
Set in the heart of busy Soho this London branch of Rocco Princi's Milanese bakery and pizzeria does a great Aperitivo every evening of the week.
Cartizze - Lancashire Court
This is a beautiful Italian inspired cocktail bar based in the Mews of Mayfair. Serving both aged Negroni's and Sbagliato cocktails.
Salvatores at Playboy Club - Old Park Lane
A place for the gentlemen to retreat to after work! World famous bartender Salvatore Calabrese has put his own stamp on the Negroni, or if you ask he can mix one up from his £1 million vintage spirit collection.
Campari for a long time has been in high regard in Italy as it’s classy, fashionable and not just a ‘drink’ it’s a way of life which has since spread across the world as an iconic symbol.