Like Negronis? Fan of absinthe? Try mixing them together in this classic drink.
'Campari' on Serious Eats
If you are interested in building a taste for the bitter drinks that are showing up in bars these days, my advice is to start slowly. Here are my recommendations, step by step.
If your favorite part of Valentine's Day is a conversation heart that says, "Bite Me," try drowning this month's syrupy banter with a bit of (delicious) bitterness.
When snowfall or an ice storm hits town, a warm tropical beach suddenly seems like the obvious cure to post-holiday winter blues. If you find yourself laying face-up on a beach somewhere (or want to convince some part of your mind that you are) you'll need a good drink. And nothing's more appropriate than this tiki cocktail.
"The idea was to have a drink that had bombastic flavors that would be satisfying after a big meal of deep flavors and then an espresso," Toby Maloney of The Violet Hour told us. Here's the recipe to make this bitter after-dinner drink at home.
Do you like drinking enough to declare your feelings in permanent ink? Maybe it depends on how visually compelling your favorite liquor's branding is...or maybe old cocktail books have illustrations that inspire you.
If Campari is the uncompromising, complex, and bitterly bracing quaff, and Aperol the sweet and heady nectar, then Luxardo's new Aperitivo strikes an interesting balance in between.
Jeff Faile has crafted an evolving list of Negroni-inspired cocktails that occupies an entire page of Fiola's cocktail menu. Currently clocking in at six, the list includes a Negroni based on pisco, a clear version with Cocchi Americano and Dolin Blanc, and a richer one made with Barolo Chinato and Old Tom Gin. Each variation exposes new flavor possibilities for the drink. Lucky for you, we got the recipes for 4 favorites.
"This one's a good introductory bitter cocktail and a good introductory boozy cocktail," says Philip Ward, co-owner and bartender of East Village tequila and mezcal palace Mayahuel. "It's bitter and boozy, yet gentle in both ways." The Rosa Amargo, a creation of Mayahuel bartender Jeremy Oertel, is a smoky, grapefruit-tinged Negroni variation, served up.
If you've never had Campari, the bright red liquid masks a surprise. This bittersweet stuff is definitely an acquired taste. I suspect nearly everyone grimaces the first time they try it, but that's no reason to give up. Campari cocktails are richly rewarding once you come around. Because they're long on flavor, you can generally savor them, letting them linger in your glass and on your mind. Here are five essential ways to enjoy this red elixir.
If I had a nickel for every mason jar full of herbs, spices, and liquor steeping in my kitchen, I'd have 55 cents. (That's not a lot of money, but it is a lot of weird jars.) So it might seem like I am biased against store-bought cocktail ingredients. But there are a few items that I will just never try to make myself. And I don't think you should either.
Like with any new toy, I got bored with the Soda Stream. You can add the brand's flavored powders to your fizzy water after carbonating (I don't, though, not really being a pseudo-cola or faux-Sprite person), or mix it with juice, but you aren't supposed to introduce non-water liquids to the machine before fizzing it up—particles in the liquids supposedly cause it to explode everywhere, and at the very least, the sugar gums up the system. Enter the Twist N Sparkle Beverage Carbonating System from iSi, and you can be carbonating cocktails in no time.
You don't hear often of brilliant cocktails created in the late 1970s, but The Jungle Bird was one. Beachbum Berry's Intoxica traces it to the Aviary Bar in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton, circa 1978, and it's one of only a handful of tiki cocktails that calls for Campari as an ingredient. Here's how to make one at home.
Your standard Old Pal cocktail calls for rye-or-bourbon, dry vermouth, and Campari, stirred and strained into a chilled glass and served with a twist. At The Woodsman Tavern, Evan Zimmerman arranges his take on the Old Pal with Old Overholt rye, French dry vermouth, the tiniest addition of Fino sherry, and Campari left to mingle for a fortnight in a mason jar full of blowtorched wood.
When warm days are chased by chilly evening breezes, I crave autumnal things like nubby sweaters, terra cotta earth tones, and crisp glasses of pomegranate juice with a splash of delightfully bitter Campari. To lighten things up for brunch, a little grapefruit juice does the trick; to make it part of any proper Italian morning, add caffé e latte (coffee with milk), colazione (bread with butter and jam), and stivali favolosi (fabulous boots).
Before dinner, you need an apertif that quenches your thirst and gets your mouth watering: a bittersweet spritz made with Campari or Aperol is just the ticket. These effervescent drinks are especially refreshing on a hot day, and the perfect partner for a few predinner snacks.