Caperitif 'Cape Aperitif'

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (2 ratings)
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Bottle size: 75cl
£ 24.25
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alc./vol: 18.5%

Proof: 37°

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: No age statement

Product of: Product of South Africa South Africa

Caperitif is an aromatised wine made by infusing Chenin Blanc and Muscat wines with Quinchona bark (quinine) and 34 other botanicals, many of which are unique to South Africa's Cape Floral Kingdom, including Fynbos, Kalmoes and Naartjie.

A key cocktail ingredient in the 1930s and referenced more than a dozen times as an ingredient in The Savoy Cocktail Book and Patrick Gavin Duffy's The Official Mixer's Manual, Cape Aperitif was lost to the world when production ceased around 1940 until a Danish mixologist, Lars Erik Lyndgaard Schmidt, teamed up with a South African winemaker, Adi Badenhorst, to recreate South Africa's once-famous vermouth.

Acorus calamus (Kalmoes) is a key ingredient to modern-day Caperitif but the American Food and Drug Administration have not allowed extracts of Acorus calamus to be used in foodstuffs since the 1960s, so American bottlings of are infused separately without Kalmoes but more cinnamon.

The producers of Caperitif make no claim to using or recreating the original recipe, this is a modern-day interpretation of a long-lost tonic wine rather than a reproduction.

Classic cocktails original made wit Caperitif include:
Barney Barnato

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 19/11/2019


(sample bottle batch No. L7, A1596, Kapse Dief) Clear, deep amber orange.


Quinine, pine, bay leaf, zesty orange and oregano.


Bittersweet and intensely flavoured. Bitter quinine and pine, sweet grape and orange, with layers of herbal complexity (mint, sage, oregano, bay leaf and black tea) invigorated by a mild black pepper spice.


Long finish with lingering cleansing bitter quinine and zesty citrus.


One of the world's more fully flavoured aperitif wines with assertive quinine bitterness and a citrus freshness over a complex aromatic herbal wine-infused base. Caperitif has the assertive quinine flavour of Tempus Fugit's Kina L'Aéro d'Or but has much less sugar and the mouth-puckering dryness of a fino sherry. If Capertif is not available, for cocktail recipes, substitute equal parts Tempus Fugit's Kina L'Aéro and Lillet Blanc, or even just Lillet Blanc.

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Buy direct from

The Whisky Exchange

Bottle size: 75cl
£ 24.25
the_whisky_exchange store logo

Update information/image

Product Information

Barcode UPC: 6 009800 591569
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Closure: Screw / Stelvin cap


Energy: 136Kcal/100ml

Allergens and Additives

Contains Sulphur Dioxide

More about Caperitif

Produced by: A.A. Badenhorst Wines