Bloody American

On my endless quest to try all liqueurs with a secretive European recipe history to them, I found myself exploring two great Italian bitter classics: Campari and Aperol. Campari is probably the more famous of the two, and is used in a variety of cocktails, most notably the Negroni, which I’ve tried but since it’s gin-based I’m not much of a fan. However, I do enjoy Campari’s bitterness, and since the long drunken winter nights have begun to bog me down, I’ve been looking for something lighter with a summer kick. The classic Americano is simply equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth with club soda, but I decided to experiment with Aperol, which is also now owned by The Campari Group and is a similar bitter herbal aperitif but lighter and with a distinctly orange flavor and color. And, since I often like to include some of the actual fruit juice used as a base for the various liqueurs that I am sampling, I included some fresh squeezed orange juice, or in this case blood orange as a nod to the blend of the blood red Campari with the dark orange Aperol. This promises to be my favorite go-to beverage for the summer, and because of its relatively low alcohol content I’ll be able to pound them like lemonade without getting drunk!


  • 1 oz. Campari

  • 1 oz. Aperol

  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed blood orange juice

  • 2 oz. sweet vermouth

  • 2 to 3 ounces club soda

  • blood orange wheels for garnish


Pour ingredients over ice in Collins glass, stir, top with soda, garnish.

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