Campari was the first alcoholic drink to mesmerise me. I was no older than six and, as I stared in wonder at my parent’s collection of liquor bottles stashed under the kitchen sink, it was the elegant Campari bottle that allured me the most. Never mind that it was stored next to our collection of canned beans and sardines: all I could see was an adult world of sophistication.
Perhaps I haven’t grown mentally but I still hear its siren song in the same way – which might partly explain why the negroni is one of my favourite cocktails.
Then again, there are two other great reasons as well.
Firstly, there’s something about Campari’s bitterness and citrus aroma that I love: combined with the botanical flavours of the gin and the sweet vermouth’s complexity, it’s a unique combination that hits the senses in a way no other cocktail does.
Secondly, it’s dead easy to make.
Here’s the classic recipe for this:
Prep Time: 3 minutes
- one shot (30ml) of gin
- one shot (30ml) of Campari
- one shot (30ml) of sweet vermouth
Add ingredients to a glass, stir (do not shake!) with ice, and add a twist of orange peel. Voila!
Note that if you’re a lightweight then you can substitute Aperol for Campari to lower the alcohol content slightly. Aperol is also a great spirit (there was a time when I’d guzzle the stuff like soft drink) and there’s no shame in using it. No, really.