Saturday, May 09, 2015


So, last night was one of those gorgeous end-of days in spring when the sun was still out, the air was cooling off and everybody seemed to be out on the porch.  



I ended up on a new porch, with a some women who I didn't know well enough to whip out a camera phone on, so the photo above is not mine but it looks exactly like the drink I was offered. 

I was between soccer pickup and dropoff, and had just deposited my older daughter at a friend's house a town away, so I needed something a little less potent and easy to sip slowly, due to the remaining trips in the car with multiple kids.  My friend Aimee offered me a Campari and Soda, with the comment that I'd definitely not be tossing it back fast.  (Campari also has a lower alcohol content, so it's a good choice when you are trying to take it slow.)

She was right.  And I like bitter, so I think it's kind of perfect, but the consensus on the porch was split between fans and critics.  They all did agree that it's tart and refreshing and definitely something that warrants a sip at a time.  Plus, fun fact I found today on wikipedia - when Campari was first made in Italy in the 1860s, it was colored with carmine dye, and the red in the dye came from crushed cochineal - our favorite yarn dyeing bug!  They've changed that - but it was a surprisingly recent change, made in 2006. 

So yes, Campari has a bitter edge to it - and if you serve it with soda and lemon, it's even more pronounced.  You can make a Negroni by adding gin, or you can try to inject a little sweetness with a bit of sugar, some reisling or I've heard of trying it with a dash of Southern Comfort (not sure about that one).  I think I may do a little more experimenting.

But the classic way to have it is this:

2 oz Campari
.5 oz fresh lemon juice/orange juice
lemon peel/orange peel
 pour over ice and add soda water.

What do you think?

10 comments:

Yvette said...

I love Campari It's delicious on the rocks with a twist of orange peel.

katrina said...

I'm a big fan of Campari with grapefruit juice. It sounds weird because they're both bitter, but somehow they kind of cancel each other out or something... it's my favourite blazingly hot summer day sitting on the front steps kind of drink.

Catherine said...

A Campari and orange is the best refreshing drink in the summer.

Carmel said...

I think a trip to the liquor store is in my future... I love tart drinks in the summer...

Anonymous said...

Changing out the gin in a Negroni yields, voila, a Boulevardier. Lovely thing it is, too. Count me in as very much a fan of bitter. I would die in the woods of poisonous plants, truly.
Happy sipping.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is Campari with ginger ale and a squeeze of blood orange or tangerine juice.

Thea said...

oooh, anonymous, the addition of ginger ale has me intrigued....

Anonymous said...

I like an Americano which is campari, red vermouth and soda. For something less alcoholic there is campari, orange juice and tonic.

Stripeyspots said...

I've always liked Campari. For a long time I would always order it on long plane trips. In summer I prefer Campari with orange juice, but in flight I like the bitterness more present.

Lorette said...

I love Campari. It's refreshing and perfect when you want something that's not 100 proof. Try adding just a splash of St. Germaine for some sweetness. Ans/or a splash of orange.