Orange, Bitter, & Refreshing: 5 Classic Campari Cocktails

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

In the dog days of August, Campari drinks are what I crave. Campari’s bracing bitterness and lush grapefruit notes are refreshing when mixed simply with soda, drunk before dinner to awaken the appetite and the palate. Campari also happens to be mixed up in some of the most classic old-fashioned cocktails and aperitivi. These are exactly what I want to drink, this time of year. Here are five favorites!

Here are five favorites, from simple and old-school to new(ish) and more nuanced.

1 The Bittercup – My personal favorite. A new creation with a nod to the classics, from a bar in Vancouver. Campari, a touch of Fernet Branca, a splash of prosecco, and few more surprises. Slightly fizzy, ever so refreshing.

2 The Negroni – An absolute old-school classic. Gin, Campari, a twist. A drink with a kick, best drunk in the evenings, before a high-class dinner.

3 The Americano – Like the Negroni, but gentler. No gin, and a splash of something fizzy instead. A great sipper for weekend afternoons.

4 The Lucien Gaudin – My husband’s drink of choice. This very old-fashioned cocktail is similar to the Negroni, but a little more easy-drinking. A splash of Cointreau and dry vermouth instead of sweet give it a rounder, fuller balance, in my opinion.

5 Cocktail Maison – A “house cocktail” from France, with a lovely flavor from Champagne, and a peachy blush from the Campari.

What is your favorite Campari drink? Do you drink it year-round, or just in the summer? Here’s a litle more background on Campari, and a bonus recipe, too, if you like to eat your Campari instead of drinking it!

On Campari
Grownup Popsicle Recipe: Boozy Campari Citrus Pops
• Survey: Have You Campari-ed Lately?
All About Aperitifs

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