Monday, June 26, 2006

Apéritif - Campari

“The decline of the apéritif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time.” --Luis Bunuel

Bunuel may have had something there, the apéritif could be an antidote for the rush-rush rat-race of the modern world. It's both a refreshing beverage, and it's the evening ritual of transition. It's a chance to relax and socialize, to share stimulating conversation and prepare for an evening meal. It brings a bit of cafe-culture that is sadly missing for most people's daily life.

Designed to waken the senses and develop the appetite, the apéritif encompases a wide variety of wines, spirits and liqueuers, usually accompanied by some light snacks.

I am focusing on three recipes that feature a classic Italian apéritif, Campari.

Campari and Soda
Campari and soda is the lightest of the three recipes. It's crisp and refreshing. A perfect summertime highball. This would be a great pre-lunch apéritif. (If you can get away with that sort of thing.) The recipe on the back of the Campari bottle calls for
2 parts Campari
1 part cold soda water
serve in a highball glass and garnish with an orange wheel

This is a good starting point, but you can adjust this at will to suit your taste, the time of day or your current mood.

The Americano is like a Campari and soda with a boost. Not as light as the Campari and Soda, the Americano maintains a crispness that serves its purpose well. The addition of the Sweet Vermouth really turns up the tastebuds. It's positively mouthwatering.

1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
fill with cold soda water
serve in a highball glass and garnish with an orange wheel.

The Negroni is the King of Camparineti. The addition of gin makes this one more of a cocktail than an apéritif, but the bittersweet complexity shines through and manages to pique the appetite.

1 part gin
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part Campari
garnish with an orange twist

Get some Campari and set out some almonds, make some time, and revive L' Apéritif. Do it this week. Do it again next week. Start a trend and build on it. They say what's old is new again.



Blogger Sam said...

I am EXTREMELY partial to campari.
in all 3 forms you suggest!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am partial to campari myself. I like that it's pink and sweet looking, but that it tastes bitter and bracing. And since gin is my greatest love, the Negroni is one of my most beloved cocktails.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a long time lover of Americanos and Negronis, but I've always made them without without soda - just on the rocks. I recently read that some are now making Negronis with champagne or prosecco - I've got to try that!

And I always thought that a Campari and soda was a bit too thin - until someone in Tokyo substituted tonic for the soda in my glass - wow.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Blair Willard said...

The best part about visiting Caracas is having several Campari con soda aperitifs

10:02 AM  

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