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Jan 26, 2004 10:53 AM


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Does any one know if Campari is Kosher? I love drinking Negronis and recently someone alerted me to the possibility that the red dye in Campari is NOT kosher.

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  1. I seemed to remember that Campari in the US was not kosher, but Campari in Israel was kosher under kof-k supervision.

    I found a reference to this on Star-K's website which I have included.


    8 Replies
    1. re: baruch

      This comes from the brand's own website,

      "Were does the red colour come from (in Campari)?
      Campari’s red colour comes from Cochineal Crimson E120: Colour Index 75470"

      Cochineal is the reason why soft drinks, sprinkles, etc. need supervision. I also heard about the Kof-K supervising these product in Israel but do not know the details.

      1. re: amy t.

        yeah, I have not actually seen kosher campari, but I do see this reference a lot.

        I looked on the Kof-K website and tried finding it to no avail. I entere din all sorts of searches and nothing came up. Accoriding to the site they only supervise one company in Israel and it is not the makers of Campari.

        IN any event, the red dye is made out of insects, thus not kosher.

        1. re: baruch

          Thanks for all the research, bottomline-- what can I use as a substitute? I don't want to give up my negronis.

          1. re: LittleWave

            I'd call the Kof-K (or e-mail them) in Teaneck and find out if a kosher version of this does in fact exsist..then I'd ask the people at Campari to help hook you up with one of their distributor's who might be supplying some unknown hidden lamed vov liquor store that has one of the kosher one's.

            Good Luck!

            1. re: amy t.

              I am so curious, what is a lamed vov liquor store? Images of bootleggers are popping up, but perhaps just shelves of coveted kosher kahlua are being sold somewhere in the depths of Brooklyn?

              1. re: RachelMolly

                It's just an "amyism". I like to have a little fun every now and then.

                1. re: amy t.

                  I have seen kosher Campari for sale in Israel. Never in the U.S., alas!

                  1. re: Jacob Adler

                    Cocheneil the beatle extractis the red dye in campari.

    2. I found this info on the Campari website: "Where does the red colour come from ?
      Campari’s red colour comes from Cochineal Crimson E120: Colour Index 75470." Some certifying agency's website might list this ingregient as kosher or not.

      Also, the Chicago Rabbinical Council's website indicates that "Liqueurs generally have lower alcohol content and are, by definition, flavored drinks. Sometimes a liqueur is referred to as an apéritif or cordial. The general rule is that all liqueurs require certification." Their website, has a fairly extensive list on what liquors require certification.

      Hope this helps.

      1. I called Chateau Shalom on Ave P in Brooklyn, she informed that the Campari in Israel is bottled in Israel and is sold in Israel and throughout Europe. It is kosher. The American Campari is bottled in Italy and is not kosher.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LittleWave

          I can vouch for that. I have an "Israeli" bottle of Campari and it has a Mehadrin Hechsher of Rabbi G.M. Garelik

          (In the picture) Written under the word "קמפרי" (Campari) is "כשר פרווה למהדרין בהשגחת הרב ג.מ. גרליק מילנו, איטליה. באישור הרבנות הראשית לישראל" (Kosher Pareve L'Mehadrin under the supervision of Rabbi G.M. Garelik, Milan, Italy. With the approval of the chief Israeli Rabbinate.)

          In addition check out this other forum about Campari's coloring:

          "I have several bottles of Campari, and didn't read the labels when buying. It turns out that I have both varieties, with natural carmine, and the artificially colored." ~~~redchile
          see: "Campari changes carmine to artificial color?"
          (amongst other things disscussed in this forum is the fact that it is hard to find Campari with the "real" natural coloring (insect dye) even if you want it)

          So apparently they must make one with natural coloring (from insects) and the other (including the Kosher version) with artificial food coloring.

        2. I recently sent an e-mail with my question to This was their response:

          "Campari ingredients use to have carmine. As of 2006 Campari now uses a red dye and not Carmine."

          "Campari use to use Carmine ( Beetle Blood) as the coloring. They used this recipe for 150 years. Now that Carmine is low, we started using a red dye, typical red dye that is used in liquid or food products."

          Based on the company response, one would have to look carefully for Campari bottles that list "artificial color" and with no reference to carmine.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ShellF

            To ShellF,

            In english please, I am a little confused as to what you were trying to say.

            Maybe you meant to say: you would have to LOOK HARD TO FIND a bottle WITH Carmine?

            can you clarify your point please :)

            thank you.

            1. re: Faune

              @Faune- This is a very belated reply, but I thought I might clear this up. It appears as if Campari is moving away from using carmine dye, and in most countries they now use an artificial dye. You can see whether the bottle you have uses carmine by the label.

              1. re: franklinstein

                It would seem that from the companies response it is using artificial coloring as opposed to carmine making it HARD TO FIND CARMINE as opposed to artificial coloring.

                and then shellf says: "Based on the company response, one would have to look carefully for Campari bottles that list "artificial color" and with no reference to carmine."

                All I was saying is that Maybe ShellF meant to say: "you would have to LOOK HARD TO FIND a bottle WITH Carmine" otherwise it makes no sense...either way they sell it in Israel with a hashgacha. See picture in my reply to "littlewave".