I know precious few people who enjoy Campari. Two, in fact: me and my friend Tim. It was Tim who first introduced me to Campari and soda, at a lakeside cafe in the northern reaches of Italy. (That was a shameless brag — sorry.) At the time I didn’t like it, but I’d been having a Very Bad Day and had my heart set on a nice glass of red wine. Campari is just not going to suit anyone set on wine.
It does suit me these days though, very much. It’s both bitter and sweet, and it has a lower alcohol content that suits hot summer afternoons extremely well. As with most Italian liqueurs, there’s an history to the beverage. In this case, it includes super artwork, such as the Leonetto Capiello poster shown here.
The oranges appear under a particular light, suffused with poetic atmosphere, as if they had been touched by a magic wand to donate all their components, which, possessing numerous beneficial effects for the health of man, become almost a panacea against every evil.
Maybe it sounds less silly in Italian.
But then again, Campari does seem to impart beneficial effects, at least on me. And so we come to this week’s drink.
1/3 Cinzano Rosso
Put ice in lowball glass. Add Campari, Cinzano Rosso and Gin and stir well. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Could anything be easier or more delightful for happy hour on a sticky Friday in August? It could not. Salud!