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Cocktails & Spirits

Campari (and relatives) anyone?

EvergreenDan | Dec 27, 200907:42 AM     48

New to this board. I've read some of the thread and recipes using Campari. I thought I'd start a thread focusing on interesting uses for this most interesting liquor. My grandparents and parents drank it, but it took until my middle years for me to start enjoying bitter things. I started with very weak Campari & Soda. So, what are you drinking that includes Campari? Here are some of mine drinks that I have created. Some may be classics or variations on Classics.

Simple Campari & Soda with Lime. Strength / amount of soda (or I actually prefer seltzer) is subjective. I like them pretty strong -- maybe two splashes of soda. Often disappointing at a bar where an ounce of Campari is diluted with in a highball glass with a ton of soda. I prefer it with a big squeezed wedge of lime, rather than the classic orange. I think it needs the acid to balance the bitter. This is my favorite summer drink, especially I don't want much alcohol. If I want something interesting to drink in the middle of the day, I sometimes flavor a big glass of selzer with a little Campari. It's not a cocktail, but rather more flavored seltzer.

Campari, Aperol & Soda with Lime. 1:1 Campari & Aperol, with lots of lime (up to half a lime), seltzer/soda to taste. Obviously somewhat sweeter because of the sugar in the Aperol. Somehow the hideous "orange soda" taste of the straight Aperol combines with the Campari to create a delightful bitter grapefruit flavor. Very strange synergy, but very good. A good Campari drink for those just getting into it.

Campari, Aperol & Gin with Lime. 1:1:1 with half a lime. Delicious and bright. If a bit too sweet, cut back on the Aperol a bit. Similar in design to a Negroni, but completely different in flavor.

Gin and "Tonic", where the tonic comes from Campari and seltzer, rather than tonic water. Very good and light. Like G&T's, can go down a bit too easily on a hot summer afternoon. This was actually a drink that my brother and I "invented" (I'm sure it's been "invented" by zillions of other people) while stranded by the 9/11 tragedy. We were being hosted by a major car manufacturer, and were stuck away from home. The manufacturer put us up and served us cocktails from nips. They had Campari in nips. They had gin nips. Free Campari. Free Gin. Lightbulb.

Negroni. A worthy classic, but actually not my favorite Campari drink.

Grapefruit sorbet with Campari. I can find local Sorbet with Campari already in it, but it's pretty wimpy. Dump a pint of sorbet in the food processor, add Campari by bits -- maybe 1/4 cup to start, process, taste, adjust, and refreeze. I refroze it in small glasses (maybe 2-3 oz) and served it with dark chocolate and a cookie for dessert. Oooh, a plain biscotti (not almond) would be great with it.

Cynar & seltzer. Similar in concept. I just had it at a bar with Lime so I just bought a bottle, but haven't started experimenting with it.

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