The forecast calls for temperatures to reach 300F today, with occasional heat strokes and heart attacks towards evening and heavy sweating overnight. Summer has hardly begun.
Campari and soda has been the European salve to a punishing sun ever since Gaspare Campari created the herb-and-bitters-based aperitíf in Italy precisely 150 years ago (special anniversary bottles now available are shown in photo). The folks over there may dress and talk funny, but they're smart, and they know a refreshing cocktail when they drink one. Plus I'll tell you something else: Campari is a classy product that feels good to order. Don't believe me? Next time you're sitting around a cafe and those around you are requesting Corona, Chardonnay, mojito...turn to the waitress and say "I'll have a Campari and soda, please." People will stop and look at you in quiet awe, like you're James Bond or something. Of course this reaction depends somewhat upon the crowd and venue; should you order a Campari and soda in, say, a bowling alley in Pensacola, you could end up looking like a pompous ass and maybe even get beat up. But that shouldn't happen in Miami, where every self-respecting bar, and even those that aren't self-respecting, carries the seductively bitter elixir.
Keep going for cool Campari cocktail recipes...
Campari is a fine drink to pour for yourself or guests at home, too.
Here's the basic recipe for Campari and soda, as well as one for another classic Campari cocktail, the Negroni; and, finally, a recipe for a Campari/beer combo.
Campari and Soda
1 oz. Campari
2 oz. Club Soda
Pour Campari over ice in a highball glass. Add club soda. Garnish with an orange slice.
0.75 oz. Campari
0.75 oz. Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
Top Pinot Chardonnay
Pour all the ingredients into a tumbler with some ice. Shake and then pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
Cerveza Nicola (served at Dish Osteria and Bar in Pittsburgh)
0.5 oz. Campari
0.5 oz premium vodka
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Top Peroni Beer
Pour Campari and vodka over ice into a draft style glass and fill to the rim with Peroni. Garnish with an orange slice.