Campari, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a bitter Italian liqueur known for its dark red color. From its inception in 1860 until 2006, the aperitif had been colored with carmine dye made from crushed cochineal insects. As unappealing as it sounds, carmine dye is actually quite common in a variety of other items including fabrics, cosmetics, and food colorings. In fact, you can still find the dye in many jams, juices, and candy. For some, carmine dye can be the cause of severe allergic reactions.
Campari now uses an artificial colorant. Many loyalists have complained that the taste and consistency have changed with the new recipe. The color does seem to be a bit more orange than the original deep red. Regardless of the change, Campari has remained one of the top selling liqueurs. With some soda and an orange slice…don’t mind if I do.