San Pellegrino Sanbitter is Campari for the broke bartender. It looks like Campari. smells like Campari,and tastes like an (only slightly sweeter Campari. Unlike Campari, it’s slightly fizzy. Sadly, unlike Campari it contains zero alcohol. It’s a bitter, herbal soda pop and I can’t imagine drinking it straight, but diluted with tonic water or even better, Schweppe’s Bitter Lemon (is it even produced today?) I think it would be just the biglietto sipped in a cafe under the Tuscan sun.
I can testify that a splash of this scarlet elixir brightens the taste of a plain ole g and t. The flavor isn’t the only thing it enlivens — the color is molto bella. And I shamefacedly admit that my husband, the rat, slipped it into a faux Negroni and it took me a couple of sips and a good look at his smirky double-dealing face to realize that I’d been had.
BONUS: I think I’d buy Sanbitter for the bottles alone. Oh my gosh, they are cute! I will soon be the proud possessor of ten matching five inch tall bud vases. I’ll have to wait a couple of months for the buds.
A pack of ten 10cl bottles cost five bucks at Angelo Caputo’s in Hanover Park, Illinois. That’s a bargain:if you find it elsewhere it will ring up for a few bucks more.