What’s the Difference Between Campari and Aperol?

Aperol Spritz
Image by Blandine JOANNIC from Pixabay

Negroni and Aperol Spritz are some of the best summer cocktails and they’re both sweet and refreshing. And because both of the cocktails have Italian aperitifs as the main ingredient, many people think the Campari and Aperol are interchangeable, but they’re very different. So, what’s the difference between them?


Aperol originates from the Italian city of Padua in 1919 and 59 years later, Gaspare Campari, invented the bitter in Milan.


Both liqueurs are easy to spot because of their bright colors. Aperol is red-orange and Campari is a bright red. Campari’s red color used to come from carmine dye, which was derived from crushed cochineal insects. They stopped using the dye in 2006.


Aperol is sweeter than Campari and has hints of bitter orange and gentian and cinchona flowers. Campari is more bitter with hints of berries, rhubarb, and herbs.

Alcohol Contents

Aperol is only 11 percent ABV, except in Germany where it’s 15 percent ABV. Campari ranges from 20.5 percent to 28.5 percent ABV.


Aperol is more commonly used in lighter cocktails like Aperol Spritz, which has three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one part soda. Campari is used in stronger cocktails like Negroni and Americano, which have equal parts Campari.