Discover the Authentic Garibaldi Cocktail – Italy’s Quintessential Aperitif

Garibaldi cocktail

Meet Authentic Garibaldi Cocktail! As the warm rays of the summer sun set over the picturesque Italian coastline, you begin to crave a light and refreshing aperitif to welcome the evening. Look no further than the iconic Garibaldi cocktail, Italy’s quintessential drink made simply with two ingredients – bitter Campari and sweet orange juice. The brilliant hue resembles the glow of dusk over the Mediterranean as you raise your glass. Discover the original recipe behind this classic Italian cocktail and how to mix the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. This savory sipper excites your senses and whets your appetite for the culinary delights yet to come.

The Origins of the Iconic Garibaldi Cocktail

Created in 1860, Garibaldi Cocktail is a very well-known drink in northern Italy created to celebrate the hero of the two worlds Giuseppe Garibaldi and the achievement of the Unification of Italy. The Garibaldi cocktail gained fame and popularity in Italy during the late 19th century as an aperitif.

The original and most authentic recipe for the Garibaldi cocktail calls for two simple ingredients: Campari, an Italian bitter liqueur, and orange juice. The red of Campari Bitter, which pays homage to Garibaldi’s red shirts, meets Orange Juice, which pays homage to Sicily, to give life to a Citrus Cocktail, with a refreshing taste suitable both for aperitifs and as a long drink for after dinner.

Tradition and Ritual

Part of the enduring appeal of the Garibaldi cocktail is the nostalgic tradition and ritual surrounding it. Italians commonly enjoy this aperitif while standing at a bar counter, creating a convivial atmosphere. The Garibaldi is also frequently ordered “con stuzzichini” meaning with little snacks like olives, nuts or light appetizers.

Whether meeting friends for a casual aperitivo or raising a toast on special occasions, the Garibaldi cocktail remains an integral part of Italian culture and social life. By using only the finest ingredients according to the original recipe, you too can craft this iconic symbol of “La Dolce Vita” and experience a taste of Italian history and tradition.

What are the ingredients in Authentic Garibaldi Cocktail?

The Garibaldi cocktail contains only two ingredients: Campari bitter and orange juice. Campari bitter is an Italian aperitif obtained from the infusion of herbs and fruits in alcohol and water. Orange juice provides a fresh and citrusy note to balance the bitter taste of Campari.

Authentic Garibaldi Cocktail

How to Make the Perfect Garibaldi Cocktail

What I’m showing you is the real recipe for the Garibaldi Cocktail, the original one, but you should know that there is also another little used where sparkling orange soda is used (instead of orange juice) and a little Prosecco is added. An alternative version that however never conquered the public.

As you will see, the Recipe for the Garibaldi Cocktail is really very simple and will allow you to obtain an easy and fast Cocktail, very tasty and perfect for a summer apéritif with friends. But the Garibaldi is a cocktail that is good for all seasons and all hours, it is refreshing and tasty, light and has that pinch of alcohol that serves to relax without falling asleep.


To make an authentic Garibaldi cocktail, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 4 3/4 oz | 14 cl fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2oz | 6 cl Campari Bitter
  • An orange slice or fresh sage for garnish


Here are the steps to prepare a perfect Garibaldi cocktail.

Squeeze a couple of oranges and filter the juice. Place ice in a tumbler glass. Pour the ingredients directly into the glass.

NOTE – For an extra special touch, you can also add a splash of sparkling wine to make a Garibaldi Royale. The sparkling wine lightens the flavor of the Campari and gives the cocktail an elegant fizz.

How should a Garibaldi cocktail be garnished?

Traditionally, a Garibaldi cocktail is garnished with fresh sage and orange slices. The orange garnish adds to the visual appeal and allows the citrus oils to accent the flavor of the drink. An orange twist or wheel are also popular options. Optionally, for extra flavor, rim the glass with an orange wedge before adding ice and the cocktail ingredients.

What type of glass should be used?

The Garibaldi cocktail is best served in a highball glass or tumbler. The highball glass allows for the ideal dilution of the Campari and orange juice over ice. Collins glasses or juice glasses also work well. Avoid short, round glasses which do not provide enough space for the cocktail and ice.

Garibaldi Cocktail Serving Suggestions

The Garibaldi cocktail is meant to be enjoyed before a meal as an appetizer. Its light, citrusy flavor will awaken your palate but not overwhelm it before dining. For the perfect Italian Aperitivo, serve your Garibaldi alongside olives, cheese, cured meats and other antipasti.

Garibaldi cocktail

Discover the Authentic Garibaldi Cocktail – Italy’s Quintessential Aperitif

Authentic Garibaldi cocktail dates back to 1860s Italy. Learn how to make this recipe with just 2 ingredients: Campari and orange juice.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 1 tumbler glass


  • Ice cubes
  • 4 3/4 oz | 14 cl fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 oz | 6 cl Campari Bitter
  • An orange slice or fresh sage for garnish


  • Squeeze a couple of oranges and filter the juice.
  • Add ice in a tumbler glass.
  • Pour the ingredients directly into the glass.
  • Garnish with fresh sage and orange slices.

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