Did you read my card on Anacapri, Italy and the quick understanding of what aperitivo is? If not, click here to read more about it and why you don't want to visit Italy without this FYI.
To get you started on your spirited vacation, here are 5 Essential Campari Cocktails you need to down now and while you're away!
Talk about a classic aperitif! The Campari-Soda is as simple as it is bold in it's flavor profile. The combination of bitter Campari with sweet soda can be a make or break, taste-wise, but is a great introduction to the depths of true Campari flavor profiles.
In a tall rocks glass, pour 2 ounces of Campari over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a wedge of lemon. For those with sensitive stomachs, you can also substitute ginger ale for soda water.
Don't be fooled! If anyone tries to serve (or make) a Negroni without Campari--IT'S NOT A NEGRONI! There simply is not substitute for Campari! If you're new to Campari, the bold bitter taste can be a bit off-putting. But don't discount the spirit altogether. Campari may be a true acquired taste for some, but well worth the imbibing perseverance.
The Negroni is a great training-wheels beverage for those new to Campari. It's also a terrific introduction to bitter-tasting cocktail components.
Pour equal parts: sweet vermouth, Campari and gin (or 1 1/2 oz. ea.) in a rocks glass and garnish with a wedge of orange.
Bitter meets bitter with this blood-red cocktail! Despite the poisonous color and the pairing of bitter Campari with also-bitter, grapefruit, makes for a spectacle of "activity" in the tastebuds. What one would expect to be a toxic-tasting fiasco, is actually not the case with this cocktail. You can, however, expect to experience a flurry of sensations with this, especially if it's your first go at Campari Sanguinea.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add 1 oz. Campari, 2oz. pomegranate juice, and 2 oz. grapefruit juice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with grapefruit twist.
For all this talk on how bitter Campari can be (for many who drink it), the Jasmine is a great example of how a cocktail can read like it came from a weapons arsenal, but it's anything but! This one is for citrus lovers, like myself. If you love grapefruit in particular, this is the closest carbon copy you will ever taste, and it doesn't even have grapefruit in it!
1 1/2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz. Campari
1/4 oz. Cointreau
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lemon twist.
Gotta love the name, right? Invented by Toby Maloney of Chicago's Violet Hour, this cocktail isn't your standard four-ingredient-or-less Campari spirit. Created as the ultimate middle-finger salute to Valentine's Day, this sordid cocktail is worth the effort looking for its obscure ingredients.
1 1/2 ounces Campari
1/2 ounce Tanqueray gin
1/4 ounce Cynar
1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
1 ounce Dolin Blanc Vermouth
15 drops orange bitters (Fee's, Regan's, or a mix)
3 orange twists
Fill a mixing glass with ice, add Campari, Tanqueray, Cynar, Fernet, vermouth, and bitters. Stir until well chilled and strain into serving glass. Twist orange peel over drink to express oils and discard.