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Campari Cocktails


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#1 eje

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:03 AM

I've been looking for an excuse to buy some Campari, ever since seeing Bill Murray's Campari swilling Cousteau-a-like in "The Life Aquatic". Well, I've actually been looking for an excuse to buy some Italian bitter liqueur for quite a bit longer than that.

In any case, the new Cocktailian column by Gary Regan contains a tasty looking recipe for something he calls the Romanza, so I have purchased some Campari.

http://www.sfgate.co...1.DTL&type=wine

Now I'm looking for some other eGullet tested recipes using Campari. Please suggest your favorites.

---------

Romanza

Adapted from a recipe by bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout at Pesce restaurant in San Francisco.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 ounces Campari

1 1/4 ounces Grand Marnier

1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice

1 orange twist, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice. Pour in Campari, Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the garnish.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#2 JAZ

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:42 AM

Well, the classic Campari drink is probably the Negroni ( here's an earlier thread on that topic).

The Jasmine from Harrington's book is also a good one to try (1.5 oz. gin, .25 oz. Cointreau, .25 oz Campari, .75 oz lemon juice) -- the Campari isn't as pronounced as in the Negroni, but it's very good.

For anyone in the SF area, Pesce is a good choice for serious cocktails. Jacques is a very nice guy and a fabulous bartender.

#3 spiritchild

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 02:27 PM

I am a huge fan of Campari during all seasons. One of my most recent creations:

2 oz Campari
1 oz fresh blood orange juice plus one muddled slice of blood orange
1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
splash of simple syrup

Shake with ice a strain into cocktail glass. Top with about 1 1/2 oz Moscato d'Asti.

The campari is really highlighted here and the dessert wine gives it the effervescence ad sweetness it needs for balance.
"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Proverbs 31: 6-7
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#4 DrinkBoy

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:20 PM

You're looking for an excuse to pick up some Campari? Wow... where do I start :->

First off, it is important to note that Campari is a fairly "your first sip will be horrid" sort of thing. I distinctly remember the first time I tried Campari. I was flying international "first class", and realized that booze was free. So I looked at the selection and saw thing thing "Campari" on the list. I recall having heard of it, but had never had it.

When the stewardess asked what I wanted, I simply responded "I'll have some Campari".

"Do you want that with soda, tonic, or just plain water."

"Nothing, I'll just take it straight."

I should have realized that her quizical glance should have been taken seriously.

I poured the little mini-bottle of Campari into the glass she gave me, and took a siip.

Wooo Nelly! Was THAT a rude awakening. The dedicated individual that I am, I faithfully sipped the entire glass, hating virtually every moment of it.

Thankfully, I realized that this "was" an apparently respected spirit, and so must have "some" redeeming qualities.

I made it a point, from then on, to ask at any bar I happened upon, if the bartender knew of a "good" drink that used Campari... I tried various Negronis, Americanos, etc. At first, each of them were almost, but not quite, as disgusting as my first sip of Campari... then gradually, I noticed that I was picking up some additional tastes and complexities in this strange and bitter beverage. Now, I can easily drink it straight, and absolutely -love- a great Campari based drink.

For the uninitiated, the first drink I'll use to introduce them to what Campari is all about, is the Jasmine (as already mentioned by JAZ)...

Jasmine
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

If you like grapefruit juice, you'll love the Jasmine.

Another absolutely fabulous drink, is the ChamPino, by Audrey Saunders...

ChamPino
1 ounce Campari
1 1/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth
2 ounces Champagne
Shake campari and sweet vermouth with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.

and then...

Champagne Flamingo
3/4 ounce vodka
3/4 ounce Campari
5 ounces chilled champagne
Shake vodka and Campari with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and top with champage. Garnish with a zest of orange.

followed by...

Old Pal
1 ounce rye or bourbon whiskey
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce Campari
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

or:

Rosita
1 1/2 ounce Tequila
1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth
1/2 ounce Campari
dash of bitters
Stir with ice. Stir with ice, strain into an iced filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

This short list should definately give you plenty of reasons for buying a case of Campari... :->

-Robert

#5 eje

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 11:10 AM

You're looking for an excuse to pick up some Campari? Wow... where do I start :->

Thanks Janet, Julia, and Robert! Those look like some tasty drinks to try.

I enjoy bitter flavors in food, beer or cocktails. Love broccolli raab and grapefruits. I picked up some grapefruit and gave the Romanza a try yesterday. I liked the flavors; but, Woo! Talk about an adult lollipop! Way too sweet for me.

I think if I were to make the drink again I would cut the liqueur and campari in half and replace that volume with vodka.

Erik

PS. I see on some websites a mention of a "sweet" version of Campari. How do you tell the difference? I bought the only one they had for sale.

edited to clarify a bit and ask about "sweet" Campari.

Edited by eje, 26 March 2005 - 11:33 AM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#6 Rob Simmon

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 08:33 PM

I picked up some grapefruit and gave the Romanza a try yesterday.  I liked the flavors; but, Woo!  Talk about an adult lollipop!  Way too sweet for me.

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What kind of grapefruit did you use? It's my understanding that most cocktail recipes call for white grapefruit (tart and slight bitter). I made a pair of Romanzas today and they were hardly sweet--adult all the way through!

As an aside, the "star ruby" and "rio red" grapefruit varieties were created by irradiating ruby red grapefruit seeds at Brookhaven National Laboraties: http://www.bnl.gov/b...tory/fruits.asp

#7 emmapeel

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 10:00 PM

First off, it is important to note that Campari is a fairly "your first sip will be horrid" ...

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The story makes me laugh because I too, felt the same way. I was 20 years old in London and it was the first time I was in Europe. I went to the movies. There was a commercial for Campari, with beautiful Europeans drinking and laughing...
so my next stop was a bar and I ordered "Campari, please...." I thought I'd wretch. Now, I cannot do without a Negroni, it's so delicious. Campari is certainly an acquired taste.
Emma Peel

#8 Craig Camp

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 10:17 PM

Campari Shakerato - simply the best

Fill a cocktail shaker with Campari, ice and a splash of Gin. Shake, strain and serve in a Martini glass.

This is very popular cocktail in Italy.

Edited by Craig Camp, 27 March 2005 - 10:18 PM.

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#9 sadistick

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 07:56 AM

I tried Campari for the first time the other day...it tasted really good...until i swallowed...wow! what an evil bitter taste.. Eeeeeeeh! :wacko:
"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."
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#10 slbunge

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 08:01 AM

I tried Campari for the first time the other day...it tasted really good...until i swallowed...wow! what an evil bitter taste.. Eeeeeeeh!  :wacko:

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Keep trying. One time, and I can't say when, you will start to crave that bitter taste.
Stephen Bunge
St Paul, MN

#11 slkinsey

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 08:15 AM

I think the best way to try Campari for the first time is probably in a weak Campari soda (Campari, sparkling water, ice, maybe a twist of lemon). Straight Campari is too overwhelming for most people on the first try. For similar reasons, I think a dry Martini is a poor choice for the ginophobe who is trying to develop an appreciation for gin.

The bottom line, though, is that for most Americans, Campari is a taste that has to be acquired. American tastes tend mostly toward the sweet side of the spectrum, or to mostly-sweet-with-some-sour. Americans, by and large, do not enjoy or appreciate bitter flavors. Italians, on the other hand, love bitter flavors. Hence the popularity of radicchio and bitter greens, bitter soft drinks like Chinotto, and the whole family of amari both as aperitivo (Campari, Cynar, etc.) and digestivo (Fernet Branca, Averna, etc.).

Here's a thought: try a swig of Fernet Branca before having a Campari soda. Relatively speaking, the Campari soda will seem hardly bitter at all. :smile:



It might make an interesting thread to talk about beverages and foods that one makes a conscious effort to acquire despite not being attracted to it, or perhaps even disliking it, on the first try.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#12 emmapeel

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 08:47 AM

It might make an interesting thread to talk about beverages and foods that one makes a conscious effort to acquire despite not being attracted to it, or perhaps even disliking it, on the first try.

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I really like that idea. What is interesting about Campari, is that I think after the first taste, expectations are leveled, and then next time for some unknown reason, it tastes good. Sam, why don't you start the thread? I'll add my Moules story.
Emma Peel

#13 plattetude

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Posted 28 March 2005 - 03:44 PM

Old Pal
1 ounce rye or bourbon whiskey
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce Campari
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Aside from the old standby, the Negroni, I've come to really love the Old Pal. It's a marvelously nuanced cocktail. I found it a while back during a session scouring Robert's DrinkBoy.com site (an essential cocktailian resource, I tell you).

My current favorite Campari drink comes by way of "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails" --

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain
1 oz gin (3 cl, 1/4 gills)
1/2 oz Cointreau (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
1/2 oz Campari (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
1/2 oz dry vermouth (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)


I love the mouthfeel of this -- so unexpected in a Campari/gin cocktail. The Cointreau gives it a silky, round texture, and makes a great sweet foil for the bitter backbone of Campari.

There's ALWAYS an excuse for Campari!

Christopher

#14 trillium

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 12:22 PM

I was experimenting last summer with Campari and Charbay's Pink Grapefruit vodka. I think I came up with a 1:1:1 with Campari, the grapefruit vodka, and gin topped with soda water in a tall glass with plenty of cracked ice.

regards,
trillium

#15 easternsun

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 04:56 PM

i really like campari - it is my "summer" cocktail. i drink it with soda. i recommend mixing it with blood orange juice for first timers. it is an acquired taste! it is quite popular in japan - they drink it with pineapple juice and grenadine quite often.
"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

#16 eje

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Posted 29 March 2005 - 08:31 PM

Well, the classic Campari drink is probably the Negroni ( here's an earlier thread on that topic).

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Tried a Negroni tonight after finishing up the prep for dinner.

My! What a tasty simple yet complex drink! I went with equal portions of Plymouth Gin, Campari, and Noilly Pratt Sweet Vermouth shaken with ice and served up. Could definitely see these becoming addictive. The interplay of smells is so great.

(The problem with really good drinks, is they distract me from trying others! Got stuck on Vespers for a couple weeks after that thread here on egullet. I am, or should I say, my liver, is only mortal!)

Erik
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#17 Chris Amirault

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 12:15 PM

I just reread this thread and realized that no one had suggested adding a healthy squeeze of lime to their Campari and soda. This is, I believe, the superior summer beverage, and the lime plays nicely with the bitterness in the Campari. Squeeze three-quarters of a lime into the soda and pour on the Campari, then toss in the last lime quarter. Bliss.
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#18 Tess

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 12:23 PM

The first time I had Campari was when someone was mixing tall drinks with Campari and Pellegrino Aranciata Amara. I liked it from the get-go. (This drink isn't nearly as good with regular aranciata-- got to be amara.)

#19 BTR

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:15 PM

Campari and bitter lemon soda is delicious.

#20 evilhomer

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:21 PM

all the matching campari with sweet vermouth has me playing around with a 1:1:1 campari:sweet vermouth:bourbon. It's a bit sweet, some bitters balance that out. I tried it yesterday with cynar instead of campari and i think there's more potential therein, but i'm abandoning this for the time being as its a bit too finicky for this weather.

This however has been greatly enjoyed right off the bat:

muddle half a lime with a small dash of sugar syrup and a handful of tarragon. pour in

1/2 oz campari
1/2 oz sambuca
1 1/2 oz gin

add crushed ice (the crushed ice filters out the potential for getting a big mouth full of herbs) and top with soda water.
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#21 eje

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:48 PM

Sort of off topic. My wife and I were up in St. Helena, CA, and noticed they have a locally made soda there called Roto Frizzante. From the description on the menu, "non-sweet, vaguely citrus-like, with an attractive astringency," and bright red color, I knew exactly what it was. Campari and soda without alcohol. We tried some, it had more cherry and citrus to it than Campari; but, was otherwise an exact clone. I guess those Gott boys are spending their fortune on trips to Italy and wanted to bring the flavor back home...

:biggrin:

Erik
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If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#22 kvltrede

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 12:48 PM

I just reread this thread and realized that no one had suggested adding a healthy squeeze of lime to their Campari and soda. This is, I believe, the superior summer beverage, and the lime plays nicely with the bitterness in the Campari. Squeeze three-quarters of a lime into the soda and pour on the Campari, then toss in the last lime quarter. Bliss.

Hey, thanks for this idea. Like others, it seems, I found Campari to be a pretty overwhelming ingredient. I've given Negroni a couple tries and didn't really enjoy them all that much. This thread gave me enough ideas that I've been meaning to try a couple of them and give Campari another shot but I didn't get around to it until the other night when I gave your drink a shot. I really liked it. The first sip reminded me just how strong a flavor Campari has but the lime juice tempers it nicely and as the drink blended I enjoyed it more and more. Kinda weird though how I kept tasting grapefruit without any grapefruit juice in the glass. Thanks again. This is a damned tasty and refreshing drink.

Kurt
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#23 Dave the Cook

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:02 PM

I love Negronis, but I find them so rich that one is my limit. The other day, I came across Gary and Mardee Regan's Valentino: gin, Campari and sweet vermouth in a 4:1:1 ratio. It would be a disservice to call it a Negroni Lite, because it's a fine cocktail in it's own right. But that's sort of what it is.

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#24 MikeInSacto

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 09:39 PM

Anyone here do Negronis with a 2:2:1:1 gin:campari:sweet vermouth:dry vermouth mix? To me, this makes for a better balanced drink than using all sweet vermouth.

Mike

#25 carswell

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 10:00 PM

I just reread this thread and realized that no one had suggested adding a healthy squeeze of lime to their Campari and soda. This is, I believe, the superior summer beverage, and the lime plays nicely with the bitterness in the Campari. Squeeze three-quarters of a lime into the soda and pour on the Campari, then toss in the last lime quarter. Bliss.

View Post

I was gearing up to post exactly the same comment. My recipe: take a highball glass; add 5 or 6 ice cubes; squeeze all the juice from a big quarter lime into the glass and throw the wedge away; squeeze most of the juice from another quarter lime and drop the wedge into the glass; pour in Campari until slightly more than 1/3 up the side; top with Schweppes club soda. The first Campari soda of the year marks my official start of summer. The synergy between lime and Italian bitters is not limited to Campari, however; a squeeze of lime is de rigeur in my Punt e Mes. Or was. Punt is no longer on sale at the SAQ...

#26 birder53

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:11 AM

.

Old Pal
1 ounce rye or bourbon whiskey
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
3/4 ounce Campari
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

View Post


Had my first Old Pal this weekend. The recipe I used, courtesy of Murray Stenson, called for equal parts of bourbon, dry vermouth and Campari. I couldn't really taste anything but the Campari. I'll have to try it again using Robert's recipe. It was surprising that even Makers Mark couldn't compete with the Campari.
KathyM

#27 jparrott

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:16 PM

I occasionally make rye manhattans with a drizzle of campari instead of bitters (a variation on the "Old Pal" above)...it adds a certain meatiness to the flavor.

I do have to say, though, that when I know some serious eating is on the cards for the evening, that campari and soda is the only way to start. (I must try that Valentino, though!)
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#28 sadistick

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 12:34 PM

I must admit...After diving in to the world of Campari, It is now one of my favourite drinks! campari, OJ, and some soda!

Mmm Mmm good!
"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."
- Samuel Johnson

#29 djbeers

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 11:22 AM

My first time was when I was in the Navy and my ship stopped at Majorca for a few days of liberty. I found this nice little bar that was run by a charming English woman. I noticed some of the locals ordering Campari and decided I was sophisticated and worldly too. I asked for "a Campari", and the owner asked "do you mean Campari and soda?" Without skipping a beat, I said "of course" and I was surprised by how refreshing the drink was. As I was drinking, the owner said something like 'you'd be surprised at how many Americans order Campari but don't know what it is or how to order it properly'. I sat there giving knowing nods and otherwise bluffing my way through the conversation. I think she was on to me though, and just messing with me. <g>

But that first taste sold me on Campari and I have always had a bottle in my liquor cabinet.
Dave

#30 Nathan P.

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 05:29 PM

Has anyone here tried experimenting with Campari and Limoncello? Inspired by the limoncello thread I made a batch this year but a very foggy summer in Nor. California has curtailed my dreams of sipping it in the warm afternoon sun. With a recently acquired bottle of Campari which I am developing a taste for I thought the lemon and sugar of the limoncello would go nicely with the Campari. I just started with 1oz Hendrick's Gin, 1 oz limoncello, .5 oz lemon juice and .5 oz Campari. I was thinking of a follow-up experiment making the Jasmine but substituting limoncello for the Cointreau.

Any thoughts?