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7 of the Best Campari Cocktails

As far as flavor goes, many cocktail aficionados believe the more bitter the drink, the better. But of the abundance of bitter liqueurs on the market, including those distilled from artichokes and seasoned with saffron, there is perhaps none more famous than Campari. Characterized by its vibrant red hue and signature orange peel, rhubarb, and herbal flavors, the blushing liqueur shines most brightly in an equally-famous famous cocktail: the Negroni.

That said, Negronis (or Negroni Sbagliatos with Prosecco in them) aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one should swear off Campari for good. There are a number of other tasty builds that incorporate the ingredient, with flavor profiles ranging from fruity with an herbaceous edge to downright bitter bombs.

Read on to check out seven of the best Campari cocktails.

The Enzoni

If you relate to Stanley Tucci and his love for Negronis, consider shaking things up a bit with the Enzoni. The cocktail swaps out the classic’s vermouth for muddled green grapes, which bring a desirable sweetness to the split-base of gin and Campari. With a splash of fresh lemon juice for brightness and a touch of simple syrup, the Enzoni is significantly less bitter than many other Campari cocktails, making it an ideal introduction to the bitter liqueur.

The Americano

As far as Campari cocktails go, the only concoction more classic than the Negroni is the Americano. First whipped up in 1860s Italy at Gaspare Campari’s own bar, Caffé Campari, the libation swaps out gin for 2 ounces of club soda for a slightly less boozy profile than its bubble-less cousin.

The Boulevardier

If you’ll never tire of the Negroni but you’re craving something a bit outside of your comfort zone, the Boulevardier could be the cocktail for you. Created in the 1920s by an American living in Paris, the Boulevardier brings a bit of the U.S. to its French-born cousin, and is made with equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and bourbon. America’s native spirit brings a robust richness and subtle sweetness to the bitter liqueur, resulting in a luscious alternative to the classic cocktail.

The Mexicano

The Mexicano is a variation on the Americano, and utilizes one of Mexico’s native spirits, mezcal, in place of bourbon. Espadin joins Campari in the cocktail’s split-base and is brightened with agave syrup, which brings a vegetal backbone to the smoky, bitter booze. A soda water float transforms the Mexicano into a lovely sessionable sipper.

The Jungle Bird

Many Campari cocktails contain just three ingredients, making their bitter flavors taste more pronounced. But the bright and tropical Jungle Bird marries the liqueur with a menagerie of diverse ingredients that neutralize some of that bitterness, making it the perfect starting point for those just entering the Campari arena. The liqueur and rum spike the drink, and provide bittersweet notes and baking spice flavors. Fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, and simple syrup bring some much-needed lift to the boozy base.

The Garibaldi

The Garibaldi is one of the easiest Campari cocktails you can make thanks to its lone two ingredients: the blushing red liqueur and freshly squeezed orange juice. The burnt orange hue of the concoction is said to pay homage to shirts worn by followers of 19th-century Italian revolutionary Guiseppe Garibaldi during their struggle for liberation. To make your own, simply combine both ingredients in a highball glass with ice and toast to Italia.

The Old Pal

The Old Pal is a variation of the Boulevardier, which itself is a variation of the Negroni. First recorded by Harry MacElhone in 1922 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, the three-part mixture marries Campari, dry vermouth, and bourbon or rye, depending on your preference. The resulting cocktail is definitely spirituous, with black pepper and floral flavors fit for serving to your oldest pals.

The Left Hand

If you’ve ever worked behind the stick, you’re certainly familiar with handshake drinks — the off-menu nightcaps those in the trade request post-shift to subtly let bartenders know they’re on the same side. One of the most well-known handshakes is the Left Hand, developed by legendary NYC bartender Sam Ross. Bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth comprise its base à la Boulevardier, but the addition of mole bitters imbues notes of chocolate and cinnamon to take things up a notch. Garnish with a branded cherry, serve in a Nick & Nora, and toast to your favorite bartenders.

The article 7 of the Best Campari Cocktails appeared first on VinePair.

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