Cappelletti Aperitivo is an Italian red bitter aperitivo that’s worth adding to your collection! It’s like a sweeter, easier-to-drink Campari. The flavor is like a blend of Aperol and Campari: sweet and herbal, with a bitter finish.
Cappelletti, endearingly known to locals as just “Specialino”, may, in fact, be the oldest style of the classic red bitter still in production. Unlike its larger commercial rivals, Cappelletti is less sweet and has a wonderful drying finish. Additionally, it still uses natural carmine color for a crimson red and retains a vinous texture from its wine base. It offers a vibrant and flavorful profile, complemented by bitter undertones on a traditional wine base. This yields a Negroni or Spritz that is dry and refreshing in the finish. It is made just outside of Trento in Alto Adige by the Cappelletti family, who also produce a number of other exceptional aperitivi and amari.
The story of the “Spritz” we commonly see in Italy today shares a history with Cappelletti in the Triveneto. This drink is most typically a combination of a red bitter with wine, soda, and a slice of orange.
Cappelletti combines well with French farmhouse ales or Radler-type beers for intense refreshment.
The acidity from Cappelletti’s wine base makes a Negroni drier, and more drying, on the palate, which stimulates the appetite and promotes food and wine sales.
The producer, which goes by the full name Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, was first established in 1906. For most of their first century, they were located in the historic Piazza Fiera in the center of Trento. Today they are located 20 km south of Trento in Aldeno, surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards.
As the name would suggest, the firm was and is still today focused on products from traditional herbs, roots, and flowers. They achieved fame in the region for their productions of amari and aperitivi, including the classic red bitter Aperitivo Cappelletti. All production is done in-house by the fourth generation of the family, Luigi and Maddalena Cappelletti.