Two years ago I stumbled onto the description of an intriguing summer cocktail: a shot of Campari topped with IPA, served with ice and a twist of lemon. One bitter sip was all it took; I was hooked on what has since become my favorite simple summer apéritif. Have you tried it?
I originally spotted the drink in a New York Times article on 3-ingredient summer cocktails, which describes it as "an offhand work of genius that ripens as the ice melts and the ale warms, as bitter citrus fuses with floral hops, as juicy bursts of grapefruit explode like sunsets pancaking on the horizon." Could it sound any more perfect for a summer evening?
Campari, ice, and half a bottle of hoppy India pale ale combine to make a drink that is refreshingly bitter and not too alcoholic, with those promised bursts of grapefruit. Simple to make but wonderfully complex in the glass, it's a drink I use to toast the start of summer, and turn to again and again throughout the season.
Fill a glass with ice. Add Campari. Slowly pour in the beer. If garnishing with the lemon, squeeze the lemon peel over the drink to release the oils, and rub around the rim of the glass. Drop garnish into the glass and serve.
Edited from post originally published June 30, 2011.