Campari is a bitter Italian aperitif that has been around for over 150 years. The ingredients are secret but it is guessed that herbs, aromatic plants and fruits are part of the process. I’m starting to believe that Campari is an essential for any home bar. I think you will too after trying these Campari cocktails.
The first time I had Campari was at a cocktail competition where bartenders had to use it in their creations. The samples being passed out were some kind of drink the casino bar made and they weren’t very good. The only thing I really remember from that night about Campari was that one of the competing bartenders said it was an old person’s drink.
The next time I had Campari was in a Negroni. I was instantly hooked. I loved the combination of the three ingredients with the mix of bitter from the Campari and sweet from the vermouth.
After purchasing my own bottle of Campari, I came across a recipe for The Boulevardier, which is a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin. It has quickly become one of my husband’s go to cocktails when entertaining friends (along with the Old Fashioned Cocktail).
The Negroni can also be made with vodka. Whatever spirit you use, the secret to these drinks are equal parts of the three ingredients. I’ll make mine with either 1 ounce of each or 1 1/2 ounces depending on my mood. Serve it up or on the rocks based on your preference. I usually serve the vodka and gin versions up and the bourbon version over ice.
- 1 ounce gin, vodka or bourbon
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce Campari
- Orange peel or twist for garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Stir for 30 seconds and strain into chilled martini glass or rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with orange peel or twist.