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Fridge or drinks cabinet?

We’ve all scratched our heads at some point wondering how best to store a bottle of alcohol.

In this article, you will learn how to store opened and unopened Campari.

Quick answer: Campari does not need to be refrigerated. Store in cool, dark conditions with a tightly sealed cap and it will keep for 6-8 months after opening.

Before we talk more about storing Campari, it is important to first talk briefly about what Campari is.

What is Campari?

Campari is a vibrant, ruby-red Italian liqueur.

It was created in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Novara, Italy. This iconic beverage has since become a staple in classic cocktails and a beloved aperitif worldwide.

Campari liqueur

Campari flavor profile

Campari has intense orange, herbal and floral aromas with a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

For more information on the ingredients and flavors in Campari, see our article:

What Campari is made of

How to store Campari after opening

Campari has a high alcohol content, so it does not spoil easily.

The most important thing for storing Campari, and all alcohol, is to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage alcohol, so keep it away from windows. If you have a cupboard, put it in a cupboard to ensure dark conditions.

Avoid extreme temperatures. Ideally, store it in a room with cool, consistent temperatures. The kitchen is probably the least ideal room due to fluctuating temperatures from the oven etc.

That said, you don’t need a wine fridge or special cellar to keep Campari fresh. Avoid fluctuating and extreme temperatures and your Campari will last.

Replace the cap properly after use. Ensuring the cap is replaced tightly will minimise exposure to oxygen. This will help reduce oxidation which can alter the taste and color of alcohol. So, replace the cap immediately after use to keep your Campari fresher for longer.

Campari does not need to be kept in the fridge, but you can store it there if you’d like.

How long Campari lasts opened

Campari will last around 6-8 months after opening when stored correctly.

How to store unopened Campari

Unopened Campari should be stored in the same way as opened Campari – cool, dark conditions.

Avoid sunlight and extreme temperatures and your Campari will last many years unopened.

How long Campari lasts unopened

Unopened Campari will last up to 10 years if stored correctly.

Campari-spritz
Campari spritz cocktail

Should Campari be served cold?

Campari drinks like Campari Spritz, Campari Soda, Negroni etc. are served over ice.  

Cocktails and mixed drinks, in general, are usually served chilled. That said, this doesn’t mean you need to keep Campari in the fridge. Drinks are usually chilled by serving over ice and shaking over ice.

You can store Campari in the fridge if you prefer, but ensure the cap is replaced properly. If the bottle is not tightly sealed, the alcohol may get contaminated with odors in your fridge, such as smelly cheese or raw meat.

As mentioned previously, it will also be exposed to oxygen if not sealed properly and will deteriorate.

How to tell if Campari has gone bad or gone off

Visual Inspection: Look closely at the liquid in the bottle or pour some into a clean glass. Campari normally looks vibrant and clear. So, if it’s cloudy, has changed color, or has bits floating around, it is possible that it is spoiled.

Smell Check: Give it a whiff. If it smells funky or off, it could be gone bad. Campari has distinct citrus, herbal, floral and woody notes. So, if you detect anything different, it could mean it’s gone off.

Taste Test: Take a small sip. If it tastes strange, not like its usual pleasantly bitter flavor, it could be spoiled. Trust your taste buds.

Use your judgement: Campari will last a long time when stored correctly, but if anything seems off—smell, appearance, or flavor—it’s safer to skip it.

Why Campari lasts a long time

High Alcohol Content: Spirits have a high alcohol content. This strong alcohol content protects against spoilage from bacteria or mold. They can’t survive in a high-alcohol environment, making Campari last longer.

Lack of Sugars and Proteins: Campari contains little or low sugars and proteins. Both can speed up spoilage, so alcohol that lacks these components tend to last much longer.

No Perishable Ingredients: Campari does not contain juices or dairy both of which are perishable. This absence of perishable ingredients means it doesn’t spoil as quickly.

Chemical Makeup: The way Campari is crafted (high alcohol content and non-perishable ingredients), creates an environment where it’s difficult for bacteria and mold to survive, keeping it safer for longer periods.