Campari Reformulation Alert

Summer’s coming. I ain’t lying, folks. And if you’re like me, you need bitter and refreshing aperitifs come summertime. Campari happens to be my personal favorite. It rocks with grapefruit juice, with club soda, plain on the rocks, with limoncello and a splash of tonic, whatever. Nothing refreshes on a hot day like a campari cocktail.

Except, I just found out over on eGullet (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=112928) that Campari recently reformulated their classic aperitif to eliminate the red dye made from insects called for by the formulation I know and love. The new Campari has a different label that showcases more of the liquid and reads “artifically colored” on the back. This actually happened some time ago, but I only drink a bottle of Campari every 1.5-2 years, and I don’t always follow spirits forums on the Web. Apparently some folks are allergic to the bug juice, and I know folks like my Orthodox Jewish brother won’t drink it because it contains an insect derivative, but I still don’t like it when a classic concoction like this reformulates. Shades of New Coke, anyone?

Fortunately, I live in a small town with a low Campari turnover. If you’re local: the 7-11 in Charles Town near Wal-Mart sells only the new formulation, but I scored 2 bottles of the original formulation at the liquor store in downtown Harpers Ferry this morning. (And there are still another 2-3 bottles there if you’re as obsessed as I am and want to stock up while you can.)

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