Everything You Need to Know About Campari
Knowing the product inside out is essential to our role. Campari is a Contemporary Classic It was invented by maître liquoriste Gaspare Campari in 186O with the name of «Bitter all’uso d’hollanda» and has been the starring ingredient in the Italian Aperitivo ever since, defining classic cocktails like the Americano and Negroni. It is still creating new cocktail trends 160 years later.We can best define it as “Bitter Aperitif Liqueur” obtained from an infusion of herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water. The original recipe has remained unchanged since Gaspare created it, kept secret to this day That’s why the only ingredients we can share are alcohol, water and sugar; the rest is a unique combination of botanicals in perfect balance, handed down through generations to the expert hands of our Herbalist & Master Blender. Today, he is the keeper of the secret recipe, responsible for sourcing and selecting the ingredients that go into Campari, as well as overseeing all stages of blending and production. That is the definition of quality.
When we talk to bartenders about Campari we always emphasize the importance of guiding people gradually in understanding the uniqueness of its flavour so it might not be a wise choice initiating a new consumer with a Negroni: it is strong and complex and as a first experience, you want, a more accessible bitterness.
An easy-to-mix like Campari and Tonic is the perfect recruiter. It combines 2 bitter ingredients in a light and refreshing way, dissolving into a delicate bitter aftertaste.
Let’s see together the perfect serve for a Campari Tonic. A copa glass is both beautiful and enhances the aromas of the Campari. Chill the glass with good quality ice, and discard the meltwater. To build the drink we use one part Campari to three parts chilled Tonic. One of the secrets to this drink is the temperature because it preserves the carbonation: the colder the tonic, the fizzier your Campari Tonic. A single stir from the bottom of the glass to mix the ingredients and finish with a fine wedge of lime. Better to avoid orange or lemon: the first will disappear, the second does not match the ingredients as well as lime. To give an extra touch of citrus, lightly squeeze the wedge before using it as a garnish.
The Negroni needs no introduction, it is one of the most iconic cocktails in the world and it celebrated its 100th birthday in 2019. As the story goes, Count Camillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni, or simply Camillo Negroni invented the drink with the help of a talented bartender, Fosco Scarselli, at Bar Casoni in Florence. Camillo asked Fosco to strengthen his Americano with drops of Gin, thinking this botanical spirit would blend perfectly with the botanical infusions of Campari and Vermouth: the quintessential Campari cocktail was born. The Negroni is a perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. It is the last step in the journey to a full appreciation of bitterness in a cocktail.
Time has come to craft the quintessence of Campari Cocktails, the perfect Negroni. Take an Old Fashioned glass, fill it up with good quality ice and stir just to chill the glass. Discard the meltwater, we don’t want to dilute the quality of our ingredients. We always begin with the gin – it’s the lightest ingredient, so the rest will mix through with gravity. Next a good quality vermouth, such as our 1757 Vermouth di Torino. Finally, the heart of the cocktail, Campari of course. As usual – in the same ratio as gin and vermouth. Then gently stir with good quality ice, to achieve the proper temperature and dilution. We can also prepare it in a mixing glass and strain it over an ice block. Finish with a fine orange slice.