The Aperitivo Cappelletti, endearingly known to locals as just “Specialino”, may 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 is a true ace for wine-and-beer licensees. A Spritz ramps up the appetite at lower pour-cost than wine-by-the-glass. For beer bars, 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.
Credit: Haus Alpenz