With the weather heating up, cocktails are becoming increasingly popular. But bartenders are already searching long and hard for one popular Italian liqueur that is a key ingredient in many drinks.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch confirms there is a shortage of the aperitif Campari and while some B.C. Liquor Stores still have limited amounts, none is currently in stock.

That lack of product is being felt across B.C. cocktail bars.

"There's a lot of us bartenders that are scouring the city for stuff but there's zero Campari anywhere now," says Shaun Layton, the head bartender of L'Abattoir restaurant in Vancouver. "We've had to have some friends bring us Campari that they've had in their liquor cabinets."

Layton says that while he's had to substitute Campari with similar liqueurs such as Cynar in his cocktail recipes, nothing is able to properly emulate it.

"It's still possible, but it's hard because campari is a very unique ingredient and there's not a lot of things like it."

Distributors hopeful stock will come soon

Massimo Mottura, the President of Gruppo Campari Canada says the shortage is solely due to distribution issues.

"It was mainly due to an erroneous forecast and some bureaucratic issues," he told the CBC. "The shortage of the product has only been felt in B.C. and not the rest of Canada."

Mottura says his company is confident consumers will be able to purchase Campari within a few weeks, adding that the first orders are expect to arrive early next week.

"I apologize to all our Canadian consumers in the west and to the bartenders for the shortage."