Easy-To-Make Campari Based Cocktails For Beginners

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When you scan through an above average bar menu, you can be sure to find a few cocktails that are Campari based. Now, as someone who’s been drinking for quite a while, you might be ashamed to ask this, but what in the world is Campari? It’s a dark red alcoholic liqueur, considered an apéritif (20.5% to 28.5% ABV, depending on the country in which it is sold), and it is brewed by infusing herbs and fruit in alcohol and water. It tastes peculiar and delightful in cocktails, and here are five quick recipes that will make you enjoy Campari to the fullest.

Jasmine

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Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t one of those completely delicate, can’t say whether it’s a cocktail or mocktail kind of drink – it’s all business. Bartenders swear by it and often call it a better Cosmopolitan. Here’s how you can fix one for yourself.

What you’ll need: 

  • 45 ml gin
  • 20 ml fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 ml Campari
  • 8 ml Cointreau

Instructions: 

  1. Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake well for 10 seconds
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lemon twist

Campari Spritz

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Commonly identified as ‘bold and assertive’, Campari spritz is an absolute badass drink. The olive on top makes a great partner for the naturally bitter cocktail, and you’ll be delighted to see how well this goes with cheeses.

What you’ll need: 

  • 60 ml Prosecco or other sparkling wine
  • 30 ml club soda
  • 60 ml Campari
  • 1 large green olive, or 3 small olives on a pick, for garnish

Instructions: 

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice
  2. Add sparkling wine, club soda, and Campari, stir gently
  3. Garnish with olives

Classic Campari and Soda

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It often surprises me so much that just adding some sparkling soda and a few drops of lime juice can bring such a drastic difference to a particular liqueur. The flavour of Campari is preserved while soda adds a bit of freshness to it. Here’s how you can make the easiest Campari cocktail.

What you’ll need: 

  • 60 ml Campari
  • 350 ml soda water (or as needed to fill glass)
  • Lemon or lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions: 

  1. Pour the Campari into a highball glass filled with ice
  2. Top with soda water
  3. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge

Italian Gentleman

Italian Gentleman

Like a true gentleman, this drink will leave you wondering, why there aren’t more of these! Campari doesn’t contain the highest amount of alcohol, but it has a very dominant flavour. Thankfully, bourbon is an equally powerful liquor that can handle a generous amount of Campari.

What you’ll need:

  • 45 ml Campari
  • 45 ml bourbon
  • 20 ml lemon juice
  • 8 ml simple syrup (equal parts sugar and hot water)
  • A dash of orange bitters

Instructions: 

  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all ingredients
  2. Mix well and strain into a coupe glass
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel

Old Pal

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If you are someone who has already developed an eye for bitter liqueur based cocktails, Old Pal should be your pal already. It’s a little booze heavy, with really distinct flavours, but once you end up liking it, there is no better bitter cocktail.

What you’ll need:

  • 44 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 22 ml dry vermouth
  • 22 ml ounce Campari
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Instructions: 

  1. Fill a mixing glass 2/3 full with ice
  2. Add whiskey, dry vermouth, and Campari
  3. Stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds, and strain into chilled cocktail glass
  4. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink and use as garnish