The Iconic Spirits Blog

Martini & Rossi Turns 150

June 19, 2013

Tags: martini & rossi

In the middle of the 19th century, the Italian province of Turin was the epicenter of the cocktail culture. It was San Francisco and Manhattan, Los Angeles and London rolled into one. Local bars and cafes were gathering spots for everyone who wanted to foment a revolution or simply banter with their friends and neighbors. Those bars and cafes were also the headquarters for the cutting-edge mixologists of their time, men who were vying with each other to create the latest beverage sensation.

It was in Turin in 1860 that Gaspare Campari concocted his famous blend of 60 herbs, spices, barks and fruit peels into a mixture of alcohol and distilled water. Campariís invention became world-famous due to aggressive and sexy marketing, but it fit into a strong tradition of drinking bitters that is still popular in modern Italy. It also succeeded because it represented a backlash against the sweetness of many other libations---most notably vermouth. (more…)