Skip to main content

Worried that your Campari has gone bad?

Drinks made with spoiled alcohol will turn any celebration or party sour. So, it’s worth knowing how to tell if your Campari is still drinkable.

In this article, you will learn how long Campari lasts open and unopened, and how to tell if it has gone bad.

Quick answer: Campari will last for around 6-8 months after opening, if stored properly. Unopened Campari will last for around 10 years if stored correctly.

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 is a staple in classic cocktails and a beloved apéritif 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

Campari label with ingredients list

How long Campari lasts opened

Campari will last around 6-8 months after opening.

How long Campari lasts unopened

Unopened Campari will last for 10 years if stored correctly.

How to store Campari after opening

Campari has a high alcohol content, so it does not spoil easily. It is also a spirt-based alcohol which lasts longer than wine-based alcohol.

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 can, store it in a cupboard to ensure dark conditions.

Avoid extreme temperatures. Ideally, store Campari in a room with cool, consistent temperatures. The kitchen is one of the least ideal places to store any alcohol due to fluctuating temperatures from ovens etc.

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 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, look, or taste—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 has low amounts of sugar and protein. 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.

Campari alcohol content

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.

When to serve Campari

Aperitivo hour

Embrace the Italian tradition of aperitivo by serving Campari before a meal. This ritual, which is also popular in France and other European countries, stimulates the appetite and gives guests the opportunity to chat and unwind before dinner. Perfect for hosting guests or when you want to elevate the anticipation of a delicious meal.

Summer refreshment

Campari’s refreshing qualities make it an excellent choice for summer. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, enjoying a patio setting, or having a picnic, Campari over ice or mixed with soda is perfect for cooling down on a hot summer’s day.

Celebrations and parties

The vibrant color and bold flavor of Campari make it a festive addition to celebrations. From Christmas to birthdays and anniversaries, including Campari in your drink selection adds a touch of sophistication to special occasions.

Cocktail parties

Impress your guests by serving Campari cocktails at your next cocktail party. Negronis and Americanos are easy to prepare in larger quantities making them an excellent choice for cocktail parties.

Relaxing at home

Campari is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed when you just want to have a drink and relax. Whether you’re reading a book or unwinding after a long day, a glass of Campari can add a touch of elegance to any evening.

Read with confidence: I am WSET L2 Award in Spirits & Diagio Bar Academy certified.