You may have noticed that a lot of the drinks I’m posting are all based around Campari. I just love this bright red, bitter liqueur; it seems so appropriate for festive summer drinks. Also I have a whole bottle of it and I’m the only one in the house that likes (okay, loves) cocktails. Can’t have that bottle just sitting there, sad and lonely! #storyofmylife #explainsalot. Moving on… Campari is a hugely popular drink, both here and in its native Italy. Its astringent, bitter, herbal flavour plays nicely with lots of other ingredients, making it an ideal component to many drinks. However, Campari is probably best loved (and most well-known) for its inclusion in the Negroni, that bastion of classic cocktail culture (by the by: did you know Negroni Week is coming up? Because it is! Check this out to find participating bars near to you; bars and restos all over the world are shaking up their version of the Negroni and donating the proceeds to charity. Drink for a cause, what could be better?!). Another super popular drink in Italy with Campari is the Campari and soda; there’s even a premixed version sold under the name Camparisoda. Unfortunately I haven’t found that here in Canada (although admittedly I didn’t try very hard), so I set about to make my own version!
- 2 tsp ginger simply syrup (combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water over low to medium heat in a pan and gently heat until sugar dissolves; put about 1 Tbsp grated ginger in and let cool; bottle and store in fridge)
- 1 shot Campari
- Lavender bitters (optional)
- Lavender leaf (optional)
- Tonic or soda
In a cocktail shaker, combine the ginger syrup, Campari, and lavender bitters (if using) with several cubes of ice. Shake up until the outside of the glass is frosty. Fill a coupe glass halfway and top up with tonic. Float a lavender leaf to make it purty.
This is basically pop for adults; the bitterness of the Campari fades into the background a bit (so this might be a good one to try if you aren’t a fan of bitter drinks or are new to Campari) and it is super refreshing on a hot day. Easy to make in big batches as well, if you’re into that kind of thing, and why wouldn’t you be? Time for some super summer chillin’ 😎