Decoding the Shelf Life of Campari: Does It Go Bad?

Does Campari go bad?

Campari is an Italian alcoholic liqueur known for its distinctive dark red color and bitter taste. It is made from an infusion of various herbs, roots, berries and fruits. If you’re a fan of Campari or planning to purchase a bottle, you may be wondering about its shelf life and whether it can go bad. In this article, we will explore the longevity of Campari, how to store it properly, and signs that indicate it has gone bad.

What is Campari?

Campari is an aperitif, which means it is typically consumed before a meal or used as an ingredient in cocktails. It has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of between 20% and 28%. Campari’s unique flavor profile comes from a combination of bitter orange peel, gentian, cherry and cinnamon.

Does Campari go bad?

Like other alcoholic beverages, Campari has a limited shelf life. However, if properly stored, it can be kept for a considerable period of time. When stored in a dry, cool place and away from direct sunlight, Campari can maintain its quality for many years.
Over time, you may notice slight changes in aroma or flavor, depending on how and where you store it. Improper storage can lead to deterioration and spoilage after a few years. Although spoiled Campari does not pose a health risk, it may develop an unpleasant taste.

How long does Campari keep once opened?

Once opened, liqueurs, including Campari, can generally be enjoyed for up to 12 months. However, it is important to watch for any changes in color, smell or taste, as these may indicate that the Campari has passed its prime.
Surprisingly, when properly stored, Campari can be enjoyed for 10 years or more. Liqueurs like Campari go through a fermentation process, and their aging decreases or stops once they are bottled. While you can store Campari for many years after opening, it is recommended that you consume it within 6 to 8 months for the best taste experience.

Does unopened Campari go bad?

If an unopened bottle of Campari is stored in the right conditions, it won’t be significantly affected. However, if stored for more than 10 years, there is a possibility that Campari may go bad. To ensure its longevity, it is essential to store the unopened bottle in its original packaging in an airtight container.

How can you tell if Campari has gone bad?

You can tell if Campari has gone bad by looking at its smell, taste and appearance. These signs can indicate a change in quality or the presence of spoilage:
Smell: Campari has a distinct aroma, characterized by the bitter smell of orange peel and gentian, with a hint of cherry and cinnamon. If Campari has been left open for a long time without being properly stored, its original bitter aroma may fade, resulting in a mild or unpleasant smell.
Taste: The authentic taste of Campari is bitter, herbaceous and smoky. If after a few sips you no longer experience the intense bitterness, it is an indication that the Campari has deteriorated and is no longer fit for consumption.
Appearance: Visual clues can also provide insight into the quality of Campari. If you see sugar accumulating around the bottle or its cap, it is a sign of spoilage. A faded dark red color and a thicker consistency are additional indicators that the Campari may have gone bad. However, in some cases, shaking the Campari to reincorporate any separated ingredients and tasting it can help determine if it is still safe to drink.

How should Campari be stored to keep it fresh for as long as possible?

Proper storage is crucial to keeping Campari fresh and extending its shelf life. Here are some guidelines to help you store Campari effectively:
Dark and cool environment: Store your Campari on a shelf in a dark and cool place. Exposure to sunlight can cause deterioration and affect flavor.
Tight closure: When an open bottle of Campari is not in use, make sure it is tightly closed. You can use the original cork, a new cork or a wine stopper to prevent air from entering the bottle.
Upright position: Always store the Campari bottle upright. This prevents the liquid from coming into contact with the closure, which can lead to corrosion and loss of flavor.
Avoid transfer: It is generally recommended to avoid transferring Campari from one bottle to another. However, if necessary, make sure that the new container is made of glass and provides a secure seal.
Campari, an Italian alcoholic liqueur, can be kept for a long time when properly stored. It has a shelf life of over 10 years when stored in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight. However, improper storage may result in a change in aroma and flavor, indicating that the Campari has gone bad. Once opened, Campari can be enjoyed for up to 12 months, but it is recommended to consume it within 6 to 8 months for the best taste. Unopened Campari can remain in good condition for many years if stored in the original bottle in an airtight container. Signs that Campari has gone off include changes in smell, taste and appearance. To keep Campari fresh for as long as possible, store it in a dark, cool place, make sure the cork is tight, store it upright, and avoid transferring it from one container to another. By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy the unique taste of Campari for a long time.


1. Does Campari have an expiration date?

Campari does not have a specific expiration date, but it may go bad over time if not stored properly.

2. How long will Campari keep if stored correctly?

When stored in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight, Campari can last for over 10 years.

3. Can Campari spoil once opened?

While Campari can be enjoyed for up to 12 months after opening, the aroma and taste may change over time.

4. Is it safe to consume Campari beyond the recommended sell-by date?

Drinking Campari after the recommended expiry date is generally safe, but the taste may be unpleasant.

5. What are the signs that Campari has gone bad?

Signs that Campari has gone bad include a faded dark red color, a thicker consistency, and a change in aroma or taste.

6. How should I store Campari to maximize its freshness?

To keep Campari fresh for as long as possible, store it in a dark and cool place, close the bottle tightly when not in use, store it upright and avoid transferring it from one container to another.