Adventures in Booze: Campari and Negroni

Close up of a red Negroni cocktail in a martini glass

The first bottle we cracked open from the intial booze spree was Campari. Now, I had never had it before, but the citrus description made it sound interesting and I decided to give it a go even though I don’t like gin a whole lot. I figured that the rest of the ingredients would cover the gin tastes I don’t care for.

NEGRONI from The Drunken Botanist

1 ounce gin (I used Bulldog here, the only gin I’ve found so far that I like.)
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
Orange peel

Shake all of the ingredients except the orange peel over ice and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

This cocktail mixes up into the lovely red drink you see above. I can’t be buggered to put in orange peels, especially when I don’t have any. It turns out that the non-gin ingredients do very much cover the taste of the gin, but it also turns out that I don’t care much for the taste of the other ingredients! Especially Campari. Campari, in my opinion, tastes like chewing on orange pith. It’s a funky, bitter taste that lingered through a 40 minute walk with my dog. Bleck!

Jason seemed to like it more than I did, but he also says that the next time he makes it, he’s going to probably use about half of the Campari. He also did a bit of research and found a Negroni recipe that includes a bit of salt. Salt does some good things for bitter flavors, so I may try that to see if it makes it more palatable. Otherwise, I suspect it’s going to be given to a friend of mine.

We also bought a bottle of Punt e Mes vermouth upon book suggestion and discovered it has the exact same bitter finish to it. Something to be aware of when buying vermouth.

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