The perfect Winter Warmer? Campari in a new light

“I’ll have a Campari and soda please.” I must admit I haven’t said that for a while, but one of the good things to come out of the pandemic (always the optimist) is that my taste buds have been longing to try new things!  Some of you may be wondering what I’m on about as it’s not your usual top-shelf spirit. Campari is one of Italy’s most iconic aperitivo’s —a  bitter liqueur (or wine) generally drunk pre-dinner. It was formulated in 1860 by a guy from Novara named Gaspare Campari, and it was hugely popular in the 19th century and used for “health purposes”.

These days you might be bamboozled into believing that a vibrant Campari spritz is just a summer beverage. Only to be sipped on a picnic blanket with lots of ice cubes, but this tasty orange liquor has many more possibilities, and should not be shelved now we’re officially in Autumn. 

In fact, to celebrate Halloween, I decided to spice up my drinks menu with some Campari cocktails- purely because I thought the colour was quite pumpkin-ey! And they went down a treat. 

I can’t guarantee it’s because of my concoctions that there was magic in the air, but there was certainly some fancy dancing, and unusual pairings in the couples department….

First up, you’ll need some Vermouth and Gin. All good cocktails have a mix that’s for sure, and trust me these work wonders! 

The King of Campari cocktails is the Negroni, it’s so simple to make!

Just add equal measures of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth for a perfectly dreamy combination of sweet n sour. Nearly impossible to screw up, and quite possible not to stand up after a couple of these! 

Whereas the Americano is a slightly watered-down version of this. invented in the 1860’s in a backstreet bar in Milan, you just mix equal parts Campari and vermouth with soda water without the gin.

Spice up your G&T with a splash of orange. So simple, and so effective! Fill your class with ice and pour equal measures of Campari and gin, top with tonic and a zingy lime wedge. 

To add a bit of pizzazz to your prosecco, you can pop in a dash of Campari! Bitter and bubbly,  a Campari Spritz makes a refreshing alternative to an Aperol spritz, and can be diluted even more with soda water if you like a long sip.

However, if you really want to impress, the Gin-Campari Sour requires an egg and a cocktail shaker.  It’s more gin heavy, so pop a larger measure of gin, a shot of Campari, lemon juice, an egg white and lots of ice and have a Tom Cruise in Cocktail shaking moment. You should keep going for about 30 seconds until the egg white is frothy, and then strain until your glass. It’s slinky and tasty, and the addition of the egg takes the bitter edge off. 

Whichever way you choose to sample it, enjoy!