We have some unsettling news: If you’re a longtime fan of the perfectly balanced, bracingly bitter, rosy-hued Negroni, then you’ve been drinking bugs. The same goes for fans of the Americano, Jungle Bird, or any other Campari-based beverage.
At the turn of the 19th century, Gaspare Campari figured out how to turn his herbal liqueur red using carmine, a dye extracted from the cochineal, a beetle-like insect. The formula for the popular liqueur included the creepy crawlies until 2006, when the brand went vegan—so younger drinkers have nothing to fear. And even those who did enjoy some pre-millennium Negronis shouldn’t be too freaked out: The tiny bugs have more in common with sand than scarabs. They’re technically not even beetles.