Campari. The only things more Italian are fast cars, high fashion, the Colosseum, and pizza.
If you were to combine all of the above, you would have one hell of a party (although we do not condone drinking and driving).
So what is Campari?
How was the world graced with its presence?
It all started in a small caffe in Milan – as so many great things have begun – in the 1860s. The cafe owner, Gaspare Campari, was an epicurious fellow, and would create all kinds of infused spirits for his patrons.
One day he came up with what he called “Bitter all’Uso d’Holanda”, or a Holland style bitter.
The recipe hasn’t changed since.
When you come across something great, why change it. Even though the recipe hasn’t changed, the story of Campari was far from done in the 1860s, or else we wouldn’t be enjoying it today.
Of course the production capabilities of a caffe are limited, and hardly large enough to see the number of bottles of Campari which we see now, around the world. Gaspare’s son, Davide, had much to do with this global expansion.
In 1900 Davide bought an 18th century mansion called Casa Alta, and moved all production to the new facility. This facility allowed for mass production of Gaspare’s bitter spirit.
Of course without a market to sell the product to, there is no need for mass production. Campari has, since the beginning of their story, used art to help sell their product. The first Campari calendar was released in the early 1890s, featuring Italian artist Cesare Tallone’s work.
The calendars have become a staple of their marketing ever since; as has art. Throughout the history of Campari they have hired some of Italy’s most relevant artists for their calendars, advertising campaigns, and bottle labels.
Since the beginning Campari has used the best of what Italy has to offer in order to create not only an elegant spirit, but an elegant brand. Campari is what a sophisticated person enjoys. And this is how it’s sold.
The smart branding, beautiful artwork, and uniquely delightful flavour have helped Campari become the global brand it is today, from its humble beginnings in a Milanese caffe.