Garibaldi: Easy 2-Ingredient Cocktail [Ultimate Guide]

The Garibaldi is a classic cocktail blending the bitter notes of Campari with sweet fresh orange juice, often garnished with an orange wedge sat across the top of the glass. Served in a highball glass, it is recognized for its frothy top, a result of vigorously mixing the orange juice to aerate it. Perfect for brunch or as an aperitif, this drink balances sweetness with bitterness, making it a timeless choice for various occasions and pairings. Its name pays homage to Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi, symbolizing the unification of flavors and culture.

Why is it Called a Garibaldi?

The Garibaldi cocktail is named after the 19th-century Italian general and politician, Giuseppe Garibaldi, who played a crucial role in the unification of Italy. The drink’s notable red-orange color is achieved by the cocktail’s blend of Campari, a bitter liqueur from Milan in Northern Italy, and sweet orange juice, traditionally from Sicily in the South, thus metaphorically uniting the north and south of Italy in a glass.

It is also believed that the orange wedge rested across the rim as a garnish symbolizes a general’s cap and the red color in the drink is a tribute to the iconic red shirts worn by Garibaldi’s followers during their campaigns for liberation, symbolizing their fight for a united Italy.


The Garibaldi is a classic cocktail featuring 1.5 ounces (45 ml) of Campari and 4 ounces (120 ml) of fresh orange juice, traditionally crowned with an orange wedge garnish across the glass rim, resembling a general’s cap that pays homage to the historical figure of General Garibaldi.

  • 1½ oz (45 ml) Campari: The bitter, herbal foundation of the drink.
  • 4 oz (120 ml) Fresh Orange Juice: Adds sweetness and citrus zing, complementing the Campari’s bitterness.
  • Orange Wedge Garnish: A visual and aromatic nod to heritage and a prelude to the sipping experience.

Ingredient Substitutes

While the Garibaldi cocktail is distinct in its use of Campari, other bitter liqueurs can be used for different flavor nuances. For those with a sweeter palate, adding a touch of a sweet syrup or liqueur can balance the bitterness to taste. Orange juice can be substituted with blood orange for a tart edge or tangerine juice for a sweeter profile.

  • Bitter Component: Aperol or other bitter liqueurs.
  • Citrus Component: Blood orange juice or tangerine juice.
  • Sweetness Adjustments: Simple syrup, other syrups or even sweet liqueurs for added sweetness.

Ingredient Proportions

Crafting the perfect Garibaldi may require a touch of personalization. A starting point is the classic 1:3 ratio of Campari to orange juice. However, those preferring a sweeter or stronger drink can add more orange juice or simple syrup to soften the bitterness, and a splash more of Campari will intensify the drink’s bold character. The best ratio for a Garibaldi cocktail maintains the drink’s integrity while allowing personal taste preferences.

  • Classic Ratio: 1 part Campari to 3 parts orange juice.
  • Customization: Adjust Campari and orange juice to personal preference. Add syrup or liqueur to increase sweetness to taste.

Best Ingredients

In creating your Garibaldi, the authenticity of Campari is non-negotiable to ensure the right balance of bitterness and complexity, while the freshness of the orange juice is pivotal. Choosing a ripe, flavorful orange for the juice and garnish adds to the drink’s vibrant color and aroma.

  • Authentic Campari: The heart of the cocktail, ensures complexity and depth.
  • Fresh Orange Juice and Garnish: Ensures vibrant flavor, aroma and aesthetic appeal.

Flavor Profile

The Garibaldi presents a tasteful harmony between the herbal bitterness of Campari and the sweet citrus of fresh orange juice. The taste journey is one of contrast and complement, where robust and bitter meets sweet and vibrant in a light, refreshing and perfectly balanced drink.

  • Bitter and Sweet: Campari’s bitterness melds with the natural sweetness of orange juice.
  • Drinkability: Refreshing and perfect for a variety of occasions.

Tools & Equipment

To make a Garibaldi cocktail, arm yourself with a jigger for measuring, a highball glass for serving, a bar spoon for mixing, and a sharp knife for the garnish. To truly honor the drink’s character, have a juicer on hand—preferably one that can aerate the juice to create a desirable frothy texture.

  • Jigger: For measuring the exact ratios of Campari to orange juice.
  • Highball Glass: The classic vessel for serving a Garibaldi.
  • Bar Spoon: Ensures a gentle, even stir without disturbing the froth.
  • Juicer: For juice with potential for froth.
  • Cutting Board & Knife: To prepare garnish.


Start with the classic steps of building a Garibaldi cocktail. First, chill your highball glass with ice cubes. Next, measure out the Campari, pouring it over the ice. Follow with the fresh orange juice, adding a vibrant layer of citrus. Stir gently to combine the flavors without disturbing the red-yellow layered look.

Froth (Optional)

Optionally, top the cocktail with aerated orange juice to create a richer texture and a visually appealing frothy top layer or even a souffle-like cap.

If you do not have a juicer that can aerate the juice into a frothy texture, you could shake the orange juice in a cocktail shaker, whip it with a whisk, or give it a quick blitz with a hand blender until it is airy and light.

After you top the cocktail with the aerated juice, you can optionally gently stir it to marry the flavors while keeping the frothy head robust, and garnish with a fresh orange wedge.

For an extra luxurious frothy texture, you can use the aerated juice for the full drink, not just the top layer. Simply pour 4 ounces of frothy orange juice over the 1½ ounces of Campari and ice.

Preparation Steps

  1. Ice: Start with a chilled, ice-filled highball glass.
  2. Campari: Pour Campari over the ice.
  3. Orange Juice: Add fresh juice on top.
  4. Froth (Optional): For the characteristic frothy top layer, froth some orange juice to top the drink.
  5. Stir: Combine gently to maintain the layers and froth.
  6. Garnish: Complete with an orange wedge on the rim.

Stir or Shake

Opt for a gentle stir when preparing a Garibaldi cocktail. This method is best to preserve the integrity of the drink, keeping the bi-color red/yellow effect and frothiness intact.

Ice (Chilling & Dilution)

The role of ice is twofold: to chill the drink and to dilute it slightly. Large ice cubes are recommended as they melt slowly, minimizing dilution. For an extra cold beverage, pre-chill the glass to keep your Garibaldi cool without relying solely on ice.

  • Large Ice Cubes: Ideal for slow melting and minimal dilution.
  • Pre-Chilled Glass: Offers a longer-lasting chill with less dilution.

Scaling (for a Group)

The Garibaldi is not an ideal cocktail for preparing in advance because pre-mixing it would disturb the two-color effect as well as its frothiness. However, if you do decide to pre-mix the Campari and fresh orange juice in a pitcher before serving a Garibaldi to a party, serve in pre-chilled glasses filled with large ice cubes, and consider frothing a batch of orange juice separately to top each glass individually for that signature frothy finish.

  1. Batch Mixing: Multiply ingredients in a pitcher, excluding ice.
  2. Pre-Chilled Glasses: Fill with ice just before serving to keep drinks cold.
  3. Separate Frothing: Froth orange juice in bulk to top off each glass.

Troubleshooting (Biggest Mistakes)

The most common mistakes when preparing a Garibaldi are using subpar orange juice and mishandling the frothy top. Freshly squeezed orange juice is essential, and over-stirring or shaking can cause the bi-color effect and froth to dissipate. Also, avoid overcrowding the glass with ice, as this can lead to over-dilution and a flattened froth.

  • Freshness Counts: Insist on freshly squeezed orange juice for flavor and froth.
  • Careful Stir: Stir sparingly to retain the two-color effect and frothy head.
  • Moderate Ice: Use just enough to chill; excess ice can diminish the frothy layer and water-down the drink too much.

Remember, the bi-color effect and frothy top is what sets a well-made Garibaldi apart, and attention to these details will ensure your cocktail is both delightful and photogenic.

Similar Cocktails

The Garibaldi cocktail belongs to a family of drinks that artfully combine bitterness with a touch of sweetness. Here are several popular variations that echo its spirit:

  • Americano: Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water.
  • Negroni: Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
  • Aperol Spritz: Aperol, prosecco, and soda water.
  • Boulevardier: Whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
  • Jungle Bird: Rum, Campari, lime juice, and pineapple juice.
  • Old Pal: Rye whiskey, dry vermouth, and Campari.

Each of these cocktails showcases a unique interplay between bitter, sweet, and sometimes sour or effervescent notes, akin to the Garibaldi’s own balance of flavors.

Looking for more drinks that you can mix with only 2 ingredients? You’ll love these.

Experiment (Creating Your Own)

To craft your own variation of the Garibaldi, consider the following tips for both classic and creative takes:

  • Swap the Spirit: Instead of Campari, use another bitter liqueur or even a sweet herbal liqueur for a different kind of bite.
  • Change the Citrus: Orange juice is classic, but why not try grapefruit, blood orange, or a combination of citrus juices?
  • Add Herbs & Spices: Muddle basil, mint, or add a sprig of rosemary into the mix for an aromatic twist.
  • Introduce Sweetness: A dash of simple syrup or a flavored liqueur can add another layer of taste.
  • Play with Garnishes: Switch out the orange wedge for a lemon twist, or add a sprig of thyme for a touch of sophistication.

For a truly creative riff:

  • Infuse Your Own: Create an infusion with Campari and fruits or spices for a personalized flavor.
  • Mix in Marmalades or Jams: For a thicker, richer texture and taste, stir in a small spoonful of orange marmalade or berry jam.
  • Experiment with Bubbles: Add a splash of sparkling water or champagne to introduce effervescence.

When creating your riff, remember that balance is key. Aim for a harmonious blend of flavors, where no single ingredient overwhelms the others. Keep tasting and tweaking until you find your perfect match. Cheers to your cocktail creativity!

Serving Occasions

The Garibaldi cocktail, with its vibrant hue and refreshing taste, is perfect for a wide range of occasions:

  • Brunch: Its citrus profile makes it a delightful alternative to mimosas.
  • Aperitivo Hour: Ideal for sipping before a meal to awaken the palate.
  • Summer Gatherings: A hit at garden parties and barbecues.
  • Cocktail Parties: A sophisticated yet simple choice for any soirée.
  • Relaxing Evenings: Wind down with its calming bittersweet flavors.

For each setting, the Garibaldi adds a splash of color and a dash of elegance, making it a versatile choice for both casual and formal events.

Food Pairings

When it comes to accompanying a Garibaldi with food, aim for dishes that complement its bitter and sweet notes:

  • Cured Meats: The bitterness of Campari cuts through the richness of salami or prosciutto.
  • Cheese Plates: Pair with mild, creamy cheeses or a sharp pecorino.
  • Light Pastas: Works well with pasta tossed in a citrus or tomato sauce.
  • Seafood: Try it with shrimp cocktail or a fresh seafood salad.
  • Fruit-Based Desserts: A natural ally to citrus-flavored or berry desserts.

The key is to balance the flavors. Foods with a hint of sweetness or citrus can echo the cocktail’s profile, while richer, savory items provide a delightful contrast. Enjoy exploring the culinary combinations!

Give the Garibaldi cocktail a stir, and share your mixology triumphs with us on social media!

Garibaldi Cocktail


The Garibaldi cocktail offers a harmonious bitter-sweet blend of Campari and fresh orange juice. Serve in a highball glass with an orange wedge garnish, and enjoy the frothy delight, perfect for leisurely brunches or as a vibrant aperitif.
Total Time 5 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Highball glass
  • 1 Bar spoon
  • 1 Juicer (optional)


  • oz Campari
  • 4 oz Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • Orange (wedge, for garnish)


  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Pour Campari over the ice.
  • Add fresh orange juice to the glass.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients without disturbing the two-color layered effect too much.
  • Optional: Froth additional orange juice until it is airy and light, by using a juicer, blender, shaker, whisk or other tool of choice. Top the cocktail with the frothy orange juice for a visually appealing frothy layer or cap.
  • Garnish with a fresh orange wedge placed on the rim of the glass.


Calories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 227IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.2mg
Calories: 165kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: Campari, orange juice
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