It just so happened that I'd been reading up about Campari, the bitter liqueur that makes up one-third of the negroni mix. The May issue of Bon Appetit includes a small feature about cocktails made with Campari and Aperol (last summer's fling) - including simple and alluring negroni recipe. Garden & Gun also weighs in this month, with a Kentucky-style negroni that replaces the traditional gin with bourbon.
As if those mentions weren't enough to convince me that Campari is trendy, over the weekend I flipped through an issue of Vogue Living Australia from last fall and realized that 2010 was the150th anniversary of Campari. No wonder it's all over the place - they're still celebrating.
So in keeping with this celebratory mood, I decided to try out that negroni. If I could lock in my summer cocktail now, I thought, I'd be way ahead of the game. So off to the liquor store I went.
I followed the strictly traditional recipe for the drink: 2 oz. Campari, 2 oz. gin (I used Tanqueray) and 2 oz. sweet vermouth. I stirred them together, then poured the mixture over ice in a rocks glass.
The result is pretty. The Campari's golden red color gives the drink a warm glow that's really appealing. I looked at the drink and thought, yes, this is it. I will be drinking these all summer long:
So that is my sad tale of the summer cocktail that wasn't. But it doesn't change the fact that Campari is enjoying some time in the spotlight. And since I've got a nearly full bottle of it in the bar now, I'll have to look into some alternate uses. Campari Champagne Cocktail anyone?