What Is Cappelletti Rosso?
Cappelletti Rosso is a medium-bodied aperitif, enjoyed for its intense aromas and refreshing bitterness. It has been produced in the Trento region of northern Italy for over 100 years. The producer, Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, has been family run since 1909. They lived and worked in the historic Piazza Fiera in the centre of Trento for the best part of a century. Today, you can visit the family in Aldeno, about 20km south of Trento.
To this day, fourth-generation Cappellettis Luigi and Maddalena still follow the same recipe for Aperitivo Cappelletti Americano Rosso that Giuseppe Cappelletti founded a century ago. The Cappelletti family makes everything in house, and have gained recognition for their production of aperitif and amari.
Cappelletti Rosso, or il Specialino as the locals call it, is an alcoholic red bitter aperitif with a base of local aromatised white wine. It is made from the infusion of bitter alpine herbs, roots, flowers and spices, which gives it an intense aroma and ruby red colour. During infusion, it is mixed by hand daily. After natural sedimentation the liquid is filtered, bottled and labelled.
As a traditional alpine aperitif, Aperitivo Cappelletti Americano Rosso is perfect on its own. It is mildly bitter, floral and earthy, with gentian herb leading the way. It is beautifully balanced and refreshing. Unlike other larger commercially made bitters, Cappelletti Rosso has a dry finish and a more restrained sweetness. The acidity from the wine vino base makes Cappelletti Rosso more drying on the palate, which works well to stimulate the appetite – thus making it a great aperitif. It is made from all natural ingredients – the dark crimson colour comes from natural carmine red, a compound found in cochineal beetles.
Cappelletti Rosso is also a fantastic addition in a Negroni or spritz. It has harmoniously balanced aromas of orange and herbal notes, giving it a bitter-sweet taste that stimulates the senses.
Why We Love Cappelletti Rosso
Bitter, sweet, herbal – Cappelletti Rosso has vibrancy and flavour in spades. It is far superior to the more popular Campari. Like Campari, Cappelletti Rosso has a strong aroma, but its fruity flavours are lighter and sweeter than Campari. The smell is comfortingly familiar – the fruity and citrus tones are rounded out by the sweet notes. The texture is round and generous, with a rich, juicy character. The taste grows in your mouth, but never overwhelms. We love that it’s a wine-based aperitif, as it has a gentleness that highlights the herbal notes.
As one of the oldest styles of classic red bitter still in production today, Cappelletti Rosso performs perfectly with a dry red vermouth, and a gin like Hendricks or Bluecoat. It’s also delicious on its own, just sip it alone over some ice for a refreshing hit.
So, no more excuses for sticking with boring Aperol! Cappelletti Rosso is drier and far superior than Aperol. For Negroni lovers out there, Cappelletti Rosso is also a great alternative to Campari, to spice things up for your next cocktail.
For a Negroni, we love mixing equal parts of Cappelletti Rosso with sweet vermouth and gin. Garnish with some citrus peel and you have an instant crowd pleaser. Super simple and delicious.
In a Spritz, try mixing:
- 1 part Cappelletti Rosso
- 1.5 part club soda
- 1 splash of sparkling wine like Prosecco
- Garnish with an orange peel
We also love mixing it with equal parts rye whiskey and vermouth for a classy Boulevardier. Or try it in a Capp Rose with 1 part Cappelletti Rosso, 2 parts apple Brandy, 1 part lemon and lime juice, a dash of sugar syrup, and garnish with a lemon or lime wheel.
Bottom line, Cappelletti Rosso is super versatile – it’s mellow sweetness can complement just about any spirit.
Get Your Hands On Cappelletti Rosso
We love Italian alpine wines and aperitifs. We have searched far and wide to bring you the best master distilleries and producers, so that you can enjoy a drink for a special occasion, or a midweek treat.
We support family producers who uphold generations of tradition and winemaking practices. As fourth-generation producers, Luigi and Maddalena Cappelletti are focused on making high quality drinks from traditional herbs, roots and flowers. They live and work just south of Trento, surrounded by apple orchards and vineyards. As small-scale producers, they see their jobs as to respect the land and sharing its gifts with people all over the world.
Our suppliers are Australia’s best, hands on importers who specialise in high quality wines and aperitifs of place. We’re thrilled that you’re joining us on the journey so get your hands on some Cappelletti Rosso and try it for yourself. Drink it on its own, with a twist of lemon, or mix with your favourite spirit.