Campari Spritz

Have happy hour with a simple and refreshing Campari Spritz, an elegant and bittersweet Italian cocktail. This effervescent sipper features a bitter red liqueur and prosecco for a bubbly, refreshing kick with vacation vibes.

A red cocktail in a textured glass with ice, garnished with an orange peel. A bottle with a red liquid and a gold jigger are in the background, alongside additional orange peels.

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About this Campari Spritz recipe

Summertime is the best time to try new cocktails. There are so many light, bright and bubbly drinks to choose from! And the coolest part is that they range in flavor, from sweet to savory to sour to bitter.

The Campari Spritz is the quintessential Italian aperitivo cocktail, hailing from the sun-drenched cafés of Venice. It’s a great way to whet your appetite before a meal or simply beat the heat with refreshing flair.

With its brilliant red hue, effervescent bubbles and bittersweet flavor profile, this sipper has become a summertime staple around the world. It’s easy to see why: It’s incredibly simple and oh-so-quaffable.

More Italian cocktails: Italian MargaritaLimoncello LemonadeItalian SodaWhite Negroni

Two glasses filled with a red iced beverage adorned with orange peels. A bottle of the same red drink and a mixing spoon are in the background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Fans of the Aperol Spritz will love this one! This bubbly cocktail is so great for a few key reasons:

  • If you’re a fan of bitter flavors, you will love this cocktail.
  • With just three ingredients, it’s so simple to make.
  • You can easily make these for a crowd. They’re a great party drink!

What is a spritz?

Spritz cocktails are a type of bubbly cocktail from Italy. They are often served as an early evening cocktail throughout the Italian summers.

The spritz has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, mainly via a marketing campaign of the spirit company Aperol.

Most well-known is the Aperol Spritz, which is also known as a type of Venetian Spritz. The Venetian Spritz features any bitter spirit (known as an aperitivo in Italian), bubbly prosecco and soda water and is garnished with an orange slice.

Try a spritz with another bitter spirit, like a Lillet Spritz or a Limoncello Spritz.

Two glasses filled with a red drink and ice, garnished with orange peels. A bottle of Campari, a jigger, and a spoon are next to the glasses on a white surface.

What is Campari?

Campari is a brand of bitter Italian liqueur with a deep red hue. It’s what’s called an apéritif, which means it’s typically enjoyed before a meal and is said to prepare the stomach for food. It’s most well known for its starring role in the Negroni.

The flavor of Campari is very, very bitter, so if you prefer something lighter, you can use another red bitter such as Aperol, though it is sweeter and less bitter than Campari.

Changing out the Campari in this recipe is a great way to try different flavor profiles in your spritz recipes. The folks at VinePair put together a list of more Campari alternatives you can try, including:

  • Luxardo Bitter
  • Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur
  • Contratto Bitter
A clear glass filled with a red drink and ice cubes, garnished with an orange peel, stands on a white surface next to a metal jigger and a bottle.

Tools & glassware

You can serve these effervescent cocktails in two types of glasses:

  • wine glasses: These are classic for spritzes! I used stemless ones for these photos. (They’re almost like rocks glasses, which would work too.)
  • champagne flutes: Classic for sparkling wine, these are gorgeous with a lemon slice perched on top.

You’ll also need a jigger for measuring and a barspoon for stirring up the drink.

A red cocktail with ice is served in a decorative glass, garnished with an orange peel. Another similar glass is partially visible in the background.

Ingredients

To make your own Campari Spritz, you only need three ingredients:

  • Campari: This Italian bitter liqueur, known as an apéritif, is dark red in color. You could make a similar version of the spritz with Aperol (a classic choice) or another bitter red liqueur like Luxardo Bitter.
  • Prosecco: Prosecco is from Italy, whereas champagne is French. Though prosecco is most fitting for this Italian cocktail, you can technically use any kind of dry sparkling wine, such as cava or champagne. Look for “dry,” “brut” or “extra brut” on the label.
  • Soda water: A splash of soda makes this drink a little lighter with extra bubbles.
A hand places an orange peel garnish on a red cocktail with ice in a textured glass.

Garnishes

Garnishes are the best part of any cocktail, if you ask me! Grab a vegetable peeler to zest a fresh orange. Be sure to grab as little of the bitter white pith as possible.

You can trim down the rough edges to make a parallelogram and perch it on the edge of the glass. It’s also fine to throw in whatever organic shape you peel off. Another idea is to use a dehydrated orange slice.

When using zest for a garnish, be sure to give it a little twist just before you drop it in to release the essential oils in the citrus skin. You can also wave it around the lip of the glass to enhance every sip with some citrus fragrance.

A glass with a red liquid is being filled from a bottle, creating a foamy surface on the drink. The background is plain white.

Best prosecco for spritzes

This sparkling wine is primarily made in the Veneto region of Italy. It’s different than champagne, which must be made in the Champagne region of France.

Prosecco is usually somewhat dry with a hint of sweetness, so aim for that when choosing a bottle.

Substitutions & variations

Do things your own way with these variations.

  • Venetian spritz: You can make spritzes with all kinds of bitter liqueurs, from Aperol to Suze to Cocchi Americano.
  • Negroni Sbagliato: This bubbly spin on the Negroni is very similar to a spritz. It uses sweet vermouth and swaps the classic gin for prosecco.
  • Non-alcoholic version: If you wish to make this recipe non-alcoholic, you can use a zero-proof bitter spirit such as Ritual Zero Proof’s Aperitif Alternative. For the prosecco, use club soda or a dry, alcohol-removed sparkling wine.

Instructions

Here’s how to make your own Campari Spritz cocktail at home:

A hand pours red liquid from a small stainless steel jigger into a clear, faceted glass on a white surface.
A glass with a red liquid is being filled from a bottle, creating a foamy surface on the drink. The background is plain white.

First, add some ice cubes to a wine glass. Add in the Campari, then the Prosecco.

A fizzy drink is being poured from a plastic bottle into a glass filled with red liquid and ice cubes on a white background.
A textured glass filled with a red liquid and ice, with a gold-spoon stirrer.

Finally add a splash of soda water. (You want to use just a little bit compared to the prosecco.) Stir gently.

Garnish with a piece of orange zest.

Tips & tricks

Make this recipe even better with these tips:

  • Always chill the prosecco and club soda until you’re ready to use it. The colder it is, the bubblier it will be!
  • Prosecco should be poured slowly. As it bubbles and fizzes over the other ingredients, it’s easier to gauge how much to fill the glasses. Leave a little room for the club soda.
  • The garnishes add fragrance and intensify the drinking experience. To make the drink really shine, add an orange twist for a more robust, fresh aroma. Swirl it around the edge of the glass to spread the essential oils around.
Two glasses of red cocktails with ice, garnished with orange peels, sit on a white surface. A bottle, a brass jigger, a spiral spoon, and additional orange peels are nearby.

Food pairings

Apéritifs are liqueurs most often enjoyed before a meal, to whet the appetite. (Bitter liqueurs are also sometimes enjoyed as digestifs, which are enjoyed after a meal to aid digestion.)

That said, these drinks go well with appetizers and canapés, especially Italian ones.

Enjoy your spritz with Italian treats like Caprese skewers, Tuscan white bean dip or a platter of bruschetta or crostini. Skewers of popcorn shrimp would be delicious too.

The Campari Spritz would be a great addition to pizza night, too. Enjoy it with an appetizer of breadsticks, mozzarella sticks or pizza pinwheels.

When to serve them

The Campari Spritz is a versatile cocktail. It’s sophisticated enough for dinner parties and simple enough for a casual evening on your patio or balcony. With bubbly prosecco, it’s a great drink for celebrating anything.

However, keep in mind the bitter flavor may not be for everyone, so be sure to have another option or two available for guests. You could always set up a Spritz Bar with other spirit options like Aperol, Lillet Blanc, limoncello or elderflower liqueur.

A glass of bright red cocktail with ice cubes and an orange peel garnish, placed on a white surface.

FAQ

Can I use champagne or another sparkling wine instead of Prosecco?

Champagne and other types of sparkling wine, like cava, are mainly different from Prosecco in origin and the type of grape used. They generally are very similar so it’s okay to substitute, but be sure to stick to a dry sparkling wine that says “dry” or “brut” on the label.

What can I use instead of Campari?

Campari is the most ubiquitous bitter red liqueur, but there are plenty of other options. Instead of Campari, you can substitute other red bitter apéritifs, such as Aperol, Luxardo Bitter, Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur or Contratto Bitter. For a non-alcoholic version, use something like the Ritual Zero Proof Apertivo Alternative.

More Campari cocktails

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Two red cocktails in ornate glasses garnished with orange peels sit on a white surface. A metal jigger and a spoon with orange peels are beside the drinks.

Campari Spritz

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Bubbly and bittersweet, the Campari Spritz is a simple blend of Campari, prosecco, and soda water, garnished with a piece of orange zest.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

  • 2 ounces Campari
  • 3-4 ounces Prosecco
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 1 orange slice for garnish

instructions

  • First, add some ice to a wine glass.
  • Add in the Campari, then the Prosecco. Finally add a splash of soda water. Stir gently.
  • Garnish with a piece of orange zest. Give it a gentle squeeze over the drink to release the essential oils.

notes

Chill the Prosecco and club soda until you’re ready to use them. The colder, the bubblier! 
Pour the Prosecco slowly. As it bubbles and fizzes over the other ingredients, it’s easier to gauge how much to fill the glasses.
Instead of Campari, substitute another bitter liqueur like Aperol, Cocchi Americano or Suze. 
Prosecco is classic for a spritz, but champagne and other types of sparkling wine, like cava, can be used. These are mainly different from Prosecco in origin and the type of grape used, but in general are very similar. It’s okay to substitute, but be sure to stick to a dry sparkling wine that says “dry” or “brut” on the label.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

nutrition information

Yield: 1 drink

amount per serving:

Serving: 8ounces Calories: 164kcal Carbohydrates: 17g Protein: 1g Fat: 0.3g Saturated Fat: 0.04g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 20mg Potassium: 231mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 9g Vitamin A: 66IU Vitamin C: 58mg Calcium: 41mg Iron: 1mg
did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!
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