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Your favorite Campari drinks.

  • m

What's your favorite drinks that made with Campari?

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  1. You need to move this question from the LA Board.

    Campari and soda is my fave.

    1. Negroni, I discovered it after someone brought some Campari over with no idea what to do with it.

      1. thanks chaps. I will tried them tonight. I like Campari + Soda + Sprite + Lime. Bitter as it maybe, its vintage posters are good.

        1. Mmm, a good negroni is hard to beat.

          This doesn't really highlight the Campari flavor, but I like to add a little to a mimosa. It tones down the sweetness of the OJ, and makes the drink a nice pinky-orange dusk color. My friends and I have dubbed them midnight mimosas.

          1. I'd like to ask a sidebar. When did you realize that you liked Campari? On the first try? The 30th? I'm still trying (I inherited a large unopened bottle). It may not be for me. What do you like about the flavor and its qualities with different mixers?

            4 Replies
            1. re: wontonton

              I hated it the first time, and that wasn't long ago and I have an adventurous palate. I revisited Campari and soda (with a squeeze of lemon) this year after hearing somebody recommend it, and suddenly it worked. It now strikes me as a great, thirst-quenching starter for the warmer months.

              1. re: wontonton

                I loved it immediately and typically drink it with soda.

                1. re: wontonton

                  I now love Campari. However, it wasn't until I was 40 that I liked it. I tried it every 2 or 3 years after I was 21. I have learned to like more bitter flavors in general as I aged (and taste buds died?).

                  1. re: dkmbuzz

                    I just tried Campari w/ soda and fresh lime for the first time last night, and I loved it immediately. It reminds me of grapefruit pith.

                2. gin and tonic with a liberal dose of campari over it, bitter lemon is a good substitute for the tonic, wedge of lemon tastes better than wedge of lime with this one.

                  1. Campari & soda w/a twist in the heat of the summer; Negronis before dinner.

                    1. I discovered an Americano as an apertif while in Paris. I love it so and it reminds me of being on holiday.

                      Equal parts Campari and red vermouth, muddled with an orange slice. Delish!


                      1. To the earlier poster about how long it takes to acquire a taste for Campari--it was my first time and I have enjoyed it ever since. I only drink it with a sweet juice like pineapple or orange--the mixture of sweet and bitter work well for me. I don't drink it with food. Prefer as a cocktail before dinner with salty snacks. Also, not something I can drink quickly and alot of so good when I am pacing myself. Thanks for reminding me I have a bottle open. Cheers.

                        1. True story, and I don't know if it's factually true. I used to frequent the inn/restaurant of a Dutch restauranteur who was the nicest man you'd ever want to meet. One day, on a slow evening, we were sitting in the inn's bar. I was drinking a Campari with ice and a splash of OJ (the other way I drink it is over ice, twist of lime). He sat next to me and told me that about fifteen years ago, he and his wife were having difficulty conceiving a child. One of his then-patrons was a general practitioner, who suggested that he switch from his after-work martinis to after-work drinks with Campari in them.
                          He did, and in the years to come, had a son and a daughter. Is there any truth to Campari's powers? I don't know. I'm just a girl with a story. But I've always loved the drink.

                          1. Gin Campari: gin and soda with a splash of Campari and an orange slice. Like a very dry Gin and Tonic. Vodka Campari is nice too.


                            1. For Campari neophytes, try a light Campari and soda with a big wedge of orange squeezed in. I liked it the first time I tasted it, but not undiluted. Taken "neat" it's pretty potent!

                              My favorite cocktail is a Negroni (gin, Campari, red vermouth). Optional but preferred by me: splash of soda. Bittersweet, sophisticated and satisfying. If I'm looking for something not quite as potent, I'll go for an Americano: Campari and red vermouth, also with a splash for me. Both of these benefit from an orange wedge or a shake of orange bitters if you have it.

                              1. Campari on the rocks with a twist of lemon or, for variety, orange, in a snifter or wine glass with a large bowl is as simple as it gets. A splash of soda for those who want something lighter. Sometimes a tall cooler with orange juice or grapefruit juice, a shot of Campari with ice and a twist. This also applies to Punt y Mes, Cynar and similar bitter-based aperitifs.

                                1. I like Campari with a lemon or orange soda like limonata/aranciata, Kas, Schweppes, etc.

                                  1. Campari, soda and a splash or OJ, or Campari and Italian orange soda (or orangina).

                                    I first had Campari in Monaco. A friend ordered one, and decided to try it. I didn't like it. Somehow, now, it is my favorite. It's my standard aperitif.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Divamac

                                      Yes, Campari and the Pellegrino orange soda is wonderful.

                                    2. The Negroni is among my favorite shaker cocktails. When I want something a little lighter, the Americano is a terrific highball. For a brunch eye-opener, Campari and fresh grapefruit juice with a little ice is very nice.

                                      1. Hey, Thanks guys for the suggestion. So far, I have tried the Soda+OJ, Soda+Lemon. They are all good.

                                        1. My girlfriend likes to doctor her root beer with a splash (probably an ounce, as she's not a big drinker) of Campari. Don't do it with a fancy root beer such as Boylan's. It works wonders for a cheap artificial root beer.

                                          1. I like the idea of Campari with root beer! My favorite is the classic C&Soda with an orange slice and of course, a Negroni. Campari/Soda was a favorite (along with Metaxa...!) on my husband's and my first trip to Greece - we had one at Franco's Bar while watching the sun set over the caldera in Santorini. They're now a summertime favorite, whether or not we're in Greece.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: deepo

                                              Campari and grapefruit juice says summer to me.

                                            2. No one has mentioned Campari as an after-dinner drink yet, but I tend to like Campari and soda after a big dinner out. I find it refreshing and soothing in comparison to many after-dinner drinks, especially sweet ones. Makes a nice digestif.

                                              1. The negroni is definitely my favorite cocktail to order at bars. It's interesting to see each bartenders' take on it. Recently though, at a fairly nice lounge I ordered a negroni. When I tasted it, it was weird and terrible. I asked the bartender what his recipe was, and it turns out he didn't use any campari at all, but rather (a LOT of) bitters! Has anyone ever heard of this before? He acted like it was my fault, saying "next time, if you want it with Campari, be sure and say so." Uhhh....

                                                There's a recipe on chow.com for a sparkling Campari cocktail. It's somewhat involved, but delicious. I made it for a Christmas party and it was a big hit, even with people who'd never tried Campari before. http://www.chow.com/recipes/10413

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: dandelion

                                                  That bartender is dead wrong. As I think I mentioned before, the classic recipe, from Caffe Giacosa in Florence where the cocktail was invented, is equal parts Campari, London dry gin (not the genever style), and sweet vermouth (I think they used Cinzano, though I'm told that Carpano's Antica Formula is superior, which I'll verify if I can ever find it). I've seen many versions done as a lowball (served in a double-rocks glass over ice), garnished with an orange slice, but the version I prefer, and which La Giacosa served to me without my specifying so, is straight up, with a twist of orange.

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    That's the version I make myself, too; 1/3 of each, served up with an orange twist. I couldn't BELIEVE that bartender... he simply refused to be wrong.

                                                    I've also noticed a lot of bartenders who "go easy" on the Campari, to the extreme of just added a splash, because they think that you won't like it. Seriously, would I be ordering a negroni if I didn't like it? No!

                                                    1. re: dandelion

                                                      Like the idiot who thinks "bitters is bitters", so freely substitutes Angostura for Campari, some bartenders can't seem to wrap their minds around shaker drinks that don't approximate modern Martini proportions: a boatload of a primary ingredient, a little bit of something else. They make lots of Vodka Martinis and Cosmos, and assume every other drink that gets strained into a cocktail glass must follow that model. The Negroni recipe is so simple, yet even when I spell it out, they still pour something that looks like a Pink Gin.

                                                      I'm starting to believe I can size up my chances of getting a proper one just by looking at the bartender. Do they look like they might drink a Negroni, or at least taste one? If not, they probably pour a pink Negroni; you'd better order something else. (But in reality, I give everybody at least one chance.)

                                                      Part of the problem in Boston is that there are scores of places with good barware, twenty yards of super-premium liquors, and an elaborate specialty cocktail menu -- but absolutely zero cocktail craft. It's very easy to spend $10 or $12 on an awful drink.

                                                      Outside of the better hotels, you can count the places with real cocktail artisans behind the bar on your fingers. It's a shame the town doesn't seem ready to sustain a place like Manhattan's Flatiron Lounge, a haven of real cocktail cheffery not hurt at all by great service and atmosphere. One can dream.

                                                2. In honor of the late great Cinnabar in Glendale (oh, how I miss them), try the Cinnabar Negroni, which is a great Campari blast!

                                                  2 ounces Campari
                                                  1 ounce gin
                                                  1 ounce sweet vermouth
                                                  2 dashes orange bitters
                                                  Stir with ice for 30 seconds and strain, orange slice garnish.

                                                  We also like one called the La Rosita, created by Robert Hess (http://www.drinkboy.com/). It never occurred to me to blend tequila and Campari, but the flavors complement one another marvelously.

                                                  1-1/2 ounces reposado tequila
                                                  1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
                                                  1/2 ounce dry vermouth
                                                  1/2 ounce Campari
                                                  Stir with ice for 30 seconds and strain, no garnish.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Sazerac

                                                    Thanks, I tried La Rosita last night...I have always sipped my reposado at room temp, so chilling it was interesting. The smoky flavor did start to shine through and mingle well with the other elements, but really only as it warmed up a bit. A nice change of pace. I still love gin with campari, though...next I am gonna make a jasmine!

                                                  2. I am a fan of the jasmine (I think it might be a girly drink, but I don't care!)


                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: ponyboy

                                                      That sounds pretty good, actually. Pink doesn't always means girly: see the Jack Rose. I also make a drink called a Pink Lemonade, made with Bacardi Limon, that is not sugary at all, quite pink, delicious, and lethal.

                                                      What are your preferred proportions for a Jasmine? I found this recipe on the Mise En Place blog:

                                                      1 1/2 Ounces Gin
                                                      1/4 Ounce Campari
                                                      1/4 Ounce Cointreau
                                                      3/4 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

                                                      Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

                                                        1. re: ponyboy

                                                          This being a modern classic created by Paul Harrington, there is no dispute on the recipe. Kind of a nice change of pace for cocktail traditionalists. And MC Slim JB is dead-on about the color. Pink has its connotations, but it can certainly be deceiving. As Mr. Harrington said of his own creation:

                                                          “Put a pink drink on the bar, and everybody wants one. They think it’s a Cosmopolitan — then they make a face when they taste it.”

                                                          Making faces notwithstanding, the Jasmine is perhaps a good vehicle for introducing Campari to the tastebuds. The flavor's there, just not quite so forward as in, say, a Negroni.


                                                          1. re: gromit

                                                            I noticed that the recipes (proportions) for Jasmine and Pegu Club differ widely between www.drinkboy.com and www.vintagecocktails.com ... and those given above. Drinkboy cites an old recipe for Pegu Club that used Rose's lime juice instead of fresh...and his Jasmine has much more Cointreau than the 1/4 oz in MC Slim JB's recipe.
                                                            Having no lemons or Cointreau on hand, I improvised and concocted a hybrid drink I call the Jaslime, as follows:
                                                            1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
                                                            3/4 oz Campari
                                                            3/4 oz Grand Marnier
                                                            3/4 oz fresh lime juice


                                                            1. re: kenito799

                                                              Just made your Jasmine -- mighty nice. A bitter, but highly pleasant finish. Great balance of flavors. A bit strong, but not that that's a bad thing. :)

                                                              Thanks for the recipe.

                                                              1. re: kenito799

                                                                I will rejuvenate this thread by adding my optimized Jas-limon recipe. I am quite addicted:

                                                                1 "overflowing" shot Plymouth gin (a bit more than 1.5oz)
                                                                3/4 oz Cointreau (definitely better here than Grand Marnier)
                                                                3/4 oz Campari
                                                                1/2 oz fresh lime juice
                                                                1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
                                                                2 dashes Angostura bitters

                                                      1. Speaking of Campari, does it go bad eventually? I've had a little bit in the fridge since last summer.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Alcachofa

                                                          At 48 proof, I highly doubt it; I don't think Campari even needs to be refrigerated. You might want to protect it from direct sunlight, though, which might lead to discoloration over time.

                                                        2. There's nothing I like better than a well made negroni, but I had an excellent non-negroni campari drink last night, crafted by Frank at Anise (one of Boston's best bartenders). In a large lowball glass over ice: galliano, campari, almond liquer (not amaretto in this case, but I'm not sure what he used instead), and fresh oj. I usually hate galliano, but it added a nice base note to the drink, and the heady sweetness of the first part of each sip gave way to the bracing bitterness of the campari. It was totally addictive.

                                                          1. I had forgotten how much I love Campari until I went through this thread. Several years ago my friends and I would drink Campari and Ginger Ale or sometimes Campari, Bourbon and Ginger Ale

                                                            1. we just had a champagne cocktail with grapefruit juice and a splash of Campari. Really nice, perfect mimosa alternative.

                                                              1. I'm not sure of the exact proportions, but I created a drink over the summer that's delish. I take about three parts Stoli Peach and one part Campari, shake them over ice and serve up, with an orange twist.

                                                                1. Does anyone know the name of the drink made with light/white beer, gin & campari? I've had it in Italy and the US, but in the US I usually receive a perplexed look when I order "beer gin and campari," but the occasional bartender does know it, and makes it for me. (They don't know the name, either, I always ask). It's really strong, but can be quite tasty in the summer.

                                                                  1. Titian's Temptation from Salvatore Calabrese.

                                                                    1 oz Campari
                                                                    1 oz Sambuca
                                                                    1 oz lemon juice

                                                                    Shake with ice & strain. Great mix of bitter, sweet and tart.