Year founded: 1919
Location: Padua, Italy
Owner: Gruppo Campari
Widely available? Yes
The Barbieri brothers introduced Aperol at the 1919 Padua International Fair as a lighter, less bitter alternative to strong aperitifs like Campari. The brand’s marketing and ad campaigns worked to emphasize this gentler character through Aperol’s orange flavor, low alcohol content and bright color—it was even marketed in the 1930s as booze for the health-conscious, offering fit drinkers a low alcohol option to keep lean. The brand has remained true to this buoyant character, even after being acquired by its more potent compatriot Campari in 2003.
In Pop Culture: Just as Campari used Italian artists to great acclaim in hand drawn posters, Aperol’s TV ads used popular personalities to market the brand. Some of the more famous commercials featured women, like the 1980 spot starring “Aperol girl” Holly Higgins riding a motorbike and the 2007 ad featuring Amanda Rosa Da Silva.
At the Bar: In 1950, the Aperol Spritz became the brand’s signature drink. A take on a traditional Venetian spritz, the Aperol Spritz consists of Prosecco, Aperol and a splash of soda.
- Aperol Spritz
- Aperol Soda