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Campari Cocktails


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As Alcuin and daisy17 noted, Amaro (pl: amari) means 'bitter' in Italian, same as amargo in Spanish or amer in French. The base of the beverage is incidental, I'd say, and broad interpretation would include vermouths as well as the more traditionally understood items like Campari, Fernet, etc. Since bitter flavors help aid digestion, they can be taken as aperitifs (Camapri, Aperol, Vermouth) or digestifs (Fernet, Averna). Some I think have flexibility in this regard (Cynar, Ramazotti).

But the term itself has no bearing on the alcohol base involved.

Does that mean that there are wine-based amari?

Some, including myself, include Vermouth in the category, particularly the heavily aromatized ones like Carpano. Punt e Mes is considerably more bitter, to my palate, than something like Averna.

Interesting. I wouldn't include vermouth as amari, not because it's not bitter, but because it seems like an entirely different category to me as a fortified wine. I can see how you could go there though, especially since I often switch out vermouth in cocktails in favor of (what I consider to be) amaro.

The bitterness of vermouth is often, or even normally, not readily apparent, but they are typically flavored with bitter components such as quinine or even wormwood (the origin of the name). In the same way that a properly made Manhattan or Old Fashioned contains bitters without tasing as bitter as, say, a Negroni, good vermouth is balanced in flavor while still having an almost imperceptable bitter quality as part of its profile.

But yes, it is not overly bitter on its own, especially if your palate is accustomed to bitterness in your beverages.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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And since this is the thread on Campari Cocktails, I thought I'd take this opportunity to throw in there that Anvil in Houston has its new menu out as of a couple of weeks ago, including--get this--a Campari Alexander. Mind-Blowing.

eta: While I originally said "Mind-blowing" I think "Mind-bending" actually describes this drink better.

So, like, Campari, creme de cacao and cream?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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And since this is the thread on Campari Cocktails, I thought I'd take this opportunity to throw in there that Anvil in Houston has its new menu out as of a couple of weeks ago, including--get this--a Campari Alexander. Mind-Blowing.

eta: While I originally said "Mind-blowing" I think "Mind-bending" actually describes this drink better.

So, like, Campari, creme de cacao and cream?

I can almost see it working. Cocoa solids are quite bitter. Maybe it will taste like a bar of 70+% dark.

 

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And since this is the thread on Campari Cocktails, I thought I'd take this opportunity to throw in there that Anvil in Houston has its new menu out as of a couple of weeks ago, including--get this--a Campari Alexander. Mind-Blowing.

eta: While I originally said "Mind-blowing" I think "Mind-bending" actually describes this drink better.

So, like, Campari, creme de cacao and cream?

I can almost see it working. Cocoa solids are quite bitter. Maybe it will taste like a bar of 70+% dark.

Those are the ingredients, yes, done in a 2:1:1 preportion if I am recalling correctly (not certain by any means--went there after a Woodford Reserve promotion). Garnish was a light dusting of dehydrated Campari powder, though I think this probably isn't clutch.

I'm not sure if I would say this resembles dark chocolate. Not sure if I would say it resembles anything, actually.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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As Alcuin and daisy17 noted, Amaro (pl: amari) means 'bitter' in Italian, same as amargo in Spanish or amer in French. The base of the beverage is incidental, I'd say, and broad interpretation would include vermouths as well as the more traditionally understood items like Campari, Fernet, etc. Since bitter flavors help aid digestion, they can be taken as aperitifs (Camapri, Aperol, Vermouth) or digestifs (Fernet, Averna). Some I think have flexibility in this regard (Cynar, Ramazotti).

But the term itself has no bearing on the alcohol base involved.

Does that mean that there are wine-based amari?

Some, including myself, include Vermouth in the category, particularly the heavily aromatized ones like Carpano. Punt e Mes is considerably more bitter, to my palate, than something like Averna.

Interesting. I wouldn't include vermouth as amari, not because it's not bitter, but because it seems like an entirely different category to me as a fortified wine. I can see how you could go there though, especially since I often switch out vermouth in cocktails in favor of (what I consider to be) amaro.

The bitterness of vermouth is often, or even normally, not readily apparent, but they are typically flavored with bitter components such as quinine or even wormwood (the origin of the name). In the same way that a properly made Manhattan or Old Fashioned contains bitters without tasing as bitter as, say, a Negroni, good vermouth is balanced in flavor while still having an almost imperceptable bitter quality as part of its profile.

But yes, it is not overly bitter on its own, especially if your palate is accustomed to bitterness in your beverages.

If I may jump in a little late here, I'd just add that Daisy17 is correct. Vermouth is not a subset of amaro, and amari are not wine-based. Just because amaro means "bitter" in Italian doesn't mean that everything with a bitter flavor is an amaro. Similarly, I don't think it's appropriate to classify vermouth under the same label as Angostura bitters. Indeed, I think it's a bit unfortunate that the English term for amaro ("potable bitters") uses the same word ("bitters") as cocktail bitters -- because they are not two points on a coherent continuum. Rather then have an entirely different conception and use.

More to the point, an amaro is what the Italians say it is. And they say that it doesn't include vermouth and other wine-based beverages. Thus, even though Punt e Mes may be perhaps more bitter overall than Campari, Punt e Mes is still a vermouth and not an amaro, and Campari is still an amaro and not a vermouth.

--

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In my world, bitter alcoholic beverages are definitely all part of a spectrum, with Angostura on one end and vermouth on the other. There are almost certainly semantic ways to dismantle this pov, and it may not work for everyone, but that is the way that works for me to explain the role of bitter flavors in cocktails to my customers and co-workers alike. Plenty of room for agreeing to disagree but I'm not so sure that it is possible to categorically call the premise false.

Perhaps I should have clarified that when I include in "that category" it is of bitters, not amari.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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  • 3 months later...

Reviving an old thread because I just got a bottle of Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau-de-vie, which enabled a Shiver from Chez Henri in Boston via cocktailvirgin:

Shiver

1 1/2 oz Campari

1 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir

This is simply an unspeakably delicious drink. The Campari comes through strongly, absorbing the grapefruit into it own. The Pine flavor lurks underneath, and peek out at the end. If only the Doug Fir weren't so expensive. (It's tasty enough to drink neat, but at $4/oz that more than I pay for even my most favored single malts.)

Is it bad if about 15% of the cocktails in my recipe database contain Campari?

Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Playing with possibilities for a regular tonight, came up with this at a request for something with Tequila and "that apricot stuff" (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot).

Inspired by the Lucien Gaudin:

1.5 oz El Jimador Blanco

.5 oz R&W Orchard Apricot

.5 oz Campari

.5 oz Dolin Dry

I think with Dolin Blanc this could be something special, though we currently don't stock that at work. It just needs a touch more sweetness, the R&W stuff being considerably drier than Cointreau.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Playing with possibilities for a regular tonight, came up with this at a request for something with Tequila and "that apricot stuff" (Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot).

Inspired by the Lucien Gaudin:

1.5 oz El Jimador Blanco

.5 oz R&W Orchard Apricot

.5 oz Campari

.5 oz Dolin Dry

I think with Dolin Blanc this could be something special, though we currently don't stock that at work. It just needs a touch more sweetness, the R&W stuff being considerably drier than Cointreau.

Not to stray off-topic Campari-wise, but I've liked tequila, R&W Orchard Apricot, and Benedictine together, with or without dry vermouth. Or dry sherry.

Christopher

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Tried a Paper Airplane last night and loved it. Incredibly, so did my wife, the first whiskey cocktail to entice her.

For something light (good summer drink), try this:

Bitter Grapefruit

2 oz Aperol

1 oz Campari

1 oz Lime

Seltzer / soda to taste

Refreshing, bitter, and with a grapefruit taste that doesn't exit in any component. Weird.

Bad night for me: two failed cocktails. Poured a bit of Lagavulin and all was right again.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Reviving an old thread because I just got a bottle of Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau-de-vie, which enabled a Shiver from Chez Henri in Boston via cocktailvirgin:

Shiver

1 1/2 oz Campari

1 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir

This is simply an unspeakably delicious drink. The Campari comes through strongly, absorbing the grapefruit into it own. The Pine flavor lurks underneath, and peek out at the end. If only the Doug Fir weren't so expensive. (It's tasty enough to drink neat, but at $4/oz that more than I pay for even my most favored single malts.)

Is it bad if about 15% of the cocktails in my recipe database contain Campari?

Wow, thank you for posting this. This is terrific. I already loved that eau de vie -- but I never would have thought of combining it with grapefruit.

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OK, maybe I'll keep posting Campari drinks. You can never have too many Campari lovers.

Pink Pegu Club

2 oz gin

3/4 oz Cointreau

1/4 oz Campari (optional)

3/4 oz Lime juice

2 dash Fee's Whiskey Aged bitters

Yes, I know this is a lot like a Jasmine, but I prefer it. I'm bad; I'll add Campari to almost anything. Good response from non-Campari lovers too. And as much as I liked the Jasmine, I like the Bitter Elder better, and would make it in preference.

Bitter Elder

1 1/2 oz gin (Plymouth is specified, but I use Tanqueray)

3/4 oz St Germain

1/2 oz Campari

1/2 oz Lemon

I got the Bitter Elder here.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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I like the Bitter Elder better, and would make it in preference.

Bitter Elder

1 1/2 oz gin (Plymouth is specified, but I use Tanqueray)

3/4 oz St Germain

1/2 oz Campari

1/2 oz Lemon

I got the Bitter Elder here.

This is a tremendous drink, and has been a best-seller for us for nearly a year--a Jasmine, perfected. If anyone out there is the creator of this or knows who is, I'm very interested to know, as we like to credit people's creations when they appear on our cocktail menu.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Congratulating myself on lowering the cost of ingredients, I offer up a variation of the Shiver:

Bask

2 oz Campari

2 oz Orange

1 oz Kirshwasser

Shake, strain, rocks.

Absolutely delicious. The orange disappears into the Campari, softening it a bit, while the kirshwasser still peeks through. Beautiful color. Not quite as intriguing as the Shiver, but a good variation using more common ingredients. Then I looked at the Clear Creek Kirshwasser bottle and realized that 1 oz of Kirshwasser is about the same cost as the 1/2 oz of Doug Fir in the Shiver. $well.

With apologies to Clear Creek, their eau-de-vies (eaus-de-vie?) mix like champs and the freedom from sugar is so liberating.

Also made a:

Corpse Reviver #3

1 oz Brandy (I used Cognac)

1 oz Campari

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz Lemon

Very good, once I doubled the Lemon from 1/2 to 1.

Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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  • 2 months later...

Made the Riviera from this thread, although I skipped the simple (plenty sweet as is for me) and the egg white (didn't think it needed the mouth feel), and I reversed the proportions of the Campari and the Maraschino (because I like Campari so much).

Good lord is that tasty. Definitely worth the 48 hour wait. As others have raved above, a great drink.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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  • 8 months later...

From Ted Haigh's terrific Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, tonight's crunching through the documentation libation:

Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

1 oz gin (Death's Door)

1/2 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz Campari

1/2 oz dry vermouth (M&R -- stayed Italian)

Stir, strain into a coupe, lemon twist. Yes, I know, should be orange, but I think the lemon brings out more notes in the drink than the repetitive orange. Plus I have no oranges at home.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I was going to have a nice Revolver cocktail tonight but I realized I didn't have any Tia Maria. Sticking with the left coast bartenders I opted instead for Dominc Venegas' 1794

1.25 oz Old Overholt

1 oz Campari

.75 oz Antica

Stir, strain, up. Flamed Orange Twist.

For the astute people in the group, you will recognize this as a twist on the Boulevardier.

ETA: Also just for clarification, there are a lot of versions of this out there on the interweb, some using vya, some using bitters. This is the original recipe from Dom himself, including product types.

Edited by johnder (log)

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I was going to have a nice Revolver cocktail tonight but I realized I didn't have any Tia Maria. Sticking with the left coast bartenders I opted instead for Dominc Venegas' 1794

1.25 oz Old Overholt

1 oz Campari

.75 oz Antica

Stir, strain, up. Flamed Orange Twist.

For the astute people in the group, you will recognize this as a twist on the Boulevardier.

ETA: Also just for clarification, there are a lot of versions of this out there on the interweb, some using vya, some using bitters. This is the original recipe from Dom himself, including product types.

Is the difference from the Boulevardier just proportions, then? Seems hardly worth a new name. I tried a version with 1.5 Wild Turkey rye, 1 Campari and 0.75 "Rosso Antica" and no twist. The rye gave a nice spice but also a bit of strange bitterness that seemed out of place. A tiny splash of Contreau smoothed out the edges for me.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Minor quibble: a "wine-based amaro" is possible.

While aromatized wines (e.g. vermouths) and amari are separate animals from the Italian point of view, there are amari and gentianes that start with a wine base; they're just fortified or redistilled up to amaro-level proof. Suze is an example on the French side, but I'm pretty sure I've seen analogues on the Italian side.

Edited by Mayur (log)
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Perhaps you are think of CardAmaro. It is a lovely amaro and has great unexplored mixing potential. Wine based with Cardoon (an artichoke relative) and Blessed Thistle (whatever that is). The woman at the liquor store said her family used to harvest wild cardoon when she was a girl.

Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Bourbon versus rye as well.

Ok. A search of the forums makes it appear people are using rye or bourbon for the Boulevardier (perhaps too much of a change but maybe similar to a Manhattan where the choice seems to be open). Personally, I try not to get hung up in semantics and am willing to go with whatever sticks in popular usage.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I'm pretty sure the Boulevardier is bourbon based.

As for the 1794, I find the proportion of Campari that johnder shows above to be a little much. I prefer:

2 oz. Overholt

3/4 oz. Antica

3/4 oz. Campari

Twist.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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