What Is Campari And What Do I Do With It?!

What is Campari?

Campari is a popular bitter Italian aperitif. The red-coloured drink is made of a proprietary blend of herbs and spices. It has a very strong bitter flavour highlighted by orange with notes of cherry, clove, and cinnamon. Campari is enjoyed throughout the world and is an iconic ingredient for cocktails like the Negroni and Americano.

A bottle of Campari

How is Campari made?

The only known ingredients in Campari are water and alcohol. These are blended together and then infused with “bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit. The secret recipe for Campari was originally developed in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in the town of Novara, Italy near Milan. Campari was fond of experimenting with new drinks and Campari was his biggest success.

A Negroni is one of the classic cocktails made with Campari.
Image Credits- BBC Goodfood

How do I drink Campari?

With Tasting Notes of  Pomegranate, strawberry, spicy herbs, bitter orange and cherry and an ABV of 24%, Campari is an interesting addition to cocktails.

Apart from making Negronis and Americanos, Campari’s moderate ABV makes it a perfect ingredient in low-proof libations. It’s frequently paired with gin, but also works well with the other base liquors like brandy, whiskey, and vodka. For the uninitiated, its interesting taste is not one that most people will find pleasant at first, so it’s best to ease into this bitter, perhaps with juice or soda and eventually train your palette to accept Campari in a purer form.

Another great Campari-based mixed drink is the Jasmine. In a cocktail shaker, combine 45 ml of gin, 22.5 ml of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 7.5 ml of Campari and 7.5 ml of Cointreau. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for about 10 seconds. Strain your drink into a cocktail glass. Don’t forget to add a lemon twist garnish for the perfect bold drink.

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