The best-selling bitter liqueur in the world was invented in 1862 by the Italian entrepreneur Gaspare Campari (1828-1882). He called it "Bitter d'Olanda". In German this means "Dutch bitter", because the so-called Bitters were very popular with the Dutch. In 1867 he opened his “Duomo” café in Milan. The first Campari production facility was opened in Sesto San Giovanni (Lombardy) in 1904. Export began under the direction of the founding son Davide Campari, first to France but soon also overseas.
The Campari is still made according to a secret company recipe. According to the company, only President Luca Garavoglia, with the help of the technical director and eight employees, produces the basic concentrate. Luca Garavoglia is also the only person in the world who knows the full original recipe. However, some ingredients are known: cinchona, Ginseng, pomegranate, carcassilla fabrics, rhubarb, orange peel and citrus oil. First, a decoction of over 60 different herbs, roots and fruits is produced in large barrels (50 hectoliters) made from Slovenian oak. The water-soluble flavors are leached with boiling distilled water. After three days, pure alcohol is added to also pull out the alcohol-soluble flavorings. After about 20 days, the decoction has a strength of around 70%.
Now the brew is dosed and mixed with sugar solution, distilled water and alcohol. Then it is crystallized protein clarified and after a few weeks the blank clarification follows filtration, The ruby Color comes from a tasteless dye that is synthetically produced today. After a month of storage in glass-lined tanks, the Campari is ready. The bright red, herb sweet and spicy end product has an alcohol content of 25% vol. Campari is enjoyed pure on ice, but also in many cocktails used as an ingredient. The white "Cordial Campari" (with 35%) is only available in Italy. Davide Campari, with its headquarters in Milan, produces around 50 million bottles a year in around 45 production facilities worldwide, which are exported to 180 countries.
Wine, sparkling wine, distillates and fruit juices are also produced or marketed. Well-known brands were taken over in the 1990s. The portfolio includes, for example, Aperol, Cinzano, Cynar, Dreher, Glen Grant, Old Smuggler, Ouzo 12 and Skyy Vodka. In 2002 the large liquor house Zedda Piras in Sardinia was bought, which is the largest part of the company Sella & Mosca has. Today, Gruppo Campari is one of the global market leaders in alcoholic beverages. In 2006, the company's 1,500 employees generated sales of EUR 932 million. See also under globalization and largest wine companies in the world,