Negroni Week & a Campari interlude

June 8, 2017

Campari is a bartender’s favourite and this wondrous elixir from the late 1800’s has inspired some great contributions to the cocktail universe, so I want to share a few that I keep close-by in my repertoire – ready to unleash at the right moments.

Negroni

This has to be one of the most known, and called for classic cocktails – and deservedly so. I expect that its popularity has risen as a result of gin’s own stratospheric climb, as well as the popularity of Campari’s kinder, fairer cousin Aperol. The Negroni is the best thing to come out of Italy perhaps with the exception of Burlosconi’s Bunga Bunga stories.

If you haven’t yet experienced the wonder of this drink, stop what you are doing and go and make one. Immediately.

Measure your ingredients. I hate seeing bartender’s free pour this drink. Part of the genius of the drink is the incredible balance between the ingredients, and using equal parts makes sure of this. I don’t want a clumsy distracted bartender messing with the tried and tested elegant simplicity of a drink made up of three equal parts.

  • Gin – 25ml
  • Martini Rosso – 25ml
  • Campari – 25ml

Method: Build in a rocks glass over fresh, cubed ice
Garnish: A thick orange slice

South-Beach

Created by Dale de Groff in 1992 as he helped a distribution company in the US find Campari cocktails that were less bitter and had more appeal to the American palate. This is a really clever drink. Great flavours and an awesome balancing act both in terms of sweet vs sour, and in terms of harmony of flavour. An understated drink which shows Dale’s brilliance and originality. Respect.

  • Campari – 25ml
  • Amaretto – 25ml
  • Squeezed orange juice – 25ml
  • Sugar syrup – 10ml (optional)

Method: Shake & strain in to a cocktail glass
Garnish: Flamed orange twist in the style of a Cosmopolitan

Boulevadier

Take a Negroni, swap bourbon for gin, serve it up in a cocktail glass and you have yourself a Boulevadier. Created by Harry McElhone at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris for Erskine Gwynne, editor of a monthly magazine of the same name.

This drink should be called the pleasant surprise – surely no-one believes in the combination of Campari and bourbon before experiencing this drink.

I like the versatility of this drink. You can easily compose the ingredients to fit a Manhattan type structure and like many before you, you might even stumble across a drink you find superior to the Manhattan.

  • Bourbon – 25ml
  • Martini Rosso – 25ml
  • Campari – 25ml

Method: Stir in a mixing glass over plenty of fresh, cubed ice.
Garnish: Orange twist

Dry Daiquiri

A banging modern Daiquiri which y’all should know about by now. Kevin Armstrong is the master-mind and we offer our thanks and respect. A man who made many a cocktail “sing” through his understanding and deft application of the wondrous Campari.

  • Havana Club 3yr – 40ml
  • Campari – 10ml
  • Lime juice – 15ml
  • Sugar syrup (1:1) – 15ml
  • Passion fruit syrup – 5ml

Method: Shake & strain. Served in a cocktail glass
Garnish: Lime wedge

Bitter Summer

A drink by Kevin Armstrong, created for Match Bars. I have already mentioned Kevin’s deft use of Campari and just in case you still lack belief, get one of these in your face.

  • Gin – 50ml
  • Campari – 10ml
  • Lemon juice – 15ml
  • Sugar syrup – 20ml
  • Passion fruit syrup – dash
  • Pink grapefruit juice – 50ml
  • Mint leaves – 3 (optional)

Method: Shake & strain. Served in a Collins glass over crushed ice
Garnish: Pink grapefruit wedge, mint sprig.

Marmalade cocktail

This is a drink from The Hawksmoor which is a worthy evolution, and to my taste buds, improvement on Salvatore Calabrese’s respected Breakfast Martini.

  • Gin – 50ml
  • Campari – 5ml
  • Orange marmalade syrup* – 15ml
  • Lemon juice – 20ml
  • Sugar syrup (1:1) – 10ml

Method: Shake & strain in to a cocktail glass
Garnish: Orange twist

*To prepare approximately 1 litre Orange Marmalade Syrup: Empty 3 jars of Seville orange marmalade in to a clean 2 litre jug. Refill one of the empty jars with water and add to the marmalade. Mix well and strain through a sieve. Bottle and keep refrigerated for 3-4 weeks.

Venice Beach

Inspired by Dale’s South Beach cocktail above, and particularly in love with the type of ingredients and the careful balancing act, I created the following drink.

  • Chambord – 25ml
  • Campari – 25ml
  • Pink Grapefruit – 25ml
  • Simple syrup – 10ml

Method: Shake & strain in to a cocktail glass
Garnish: Orange twist

ENZONI

Created by Vincenzo Errico at Match bar.

  • Gin – 30ml
  • Sloe Gin – 30ml
  • Campari – 10ml
  • Lemon juice – 10ml
  • Simple syrup – Dash
  • Redcurrants – 1 string
  • Red grapes – 3

Method: Muddle fruits, shake and strain into a cubed ice-filled 9oz rocks
Garnish: Orange slice

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