Bulleit Bourbon is a staple in my liquor cabinet. It’s…
Campari is a bitter red liqueur that is instantly recognizable for its bold red color. It has long been a staple at most bars, for both its color and its unique flavor, and it is another liqueur that is benefiting heavily from the craft cocktail movement when it comes to raising its profile with younger drinkers. Campari is an Italian bitter liqueur that was developed in 1860 as a pre-dinner digestif meant to stimulate the appetite and ready the stomach for a meal. Its recipe is a secret, but you can clearly taste a very strong bitter orange flavor that is similar to the flavor of straight orange bitters. You can also pick up hints of spices and herbs, like fennel and mint, in Campari as a backdrop to its dominant orange flavor. The bitterness, which is reminiscent of orange peel, lingers on the palate long after the drink is finished. The liquid itself has a sightly syrupy consistency and a hint of sweetness to it.
Campari is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails, such as the Negroni and the Americano. Campari fans also enjoy it with soda, which cuts the bitterness without cutting the sweetness or losing the flavor of the liqueur.
Worth another round? It depends on your preferences with Campari, because its flavor is so strong that it can be a bit polarizing. I like bitter aperitifs and amaros and still prefer Campari when it is mixed with something else to cut its bitterness and bring out more of its orange citrus notes. Used well, it can be outstanding, but used poorly and you’ll be left wishing you had just ordered something else.