No, I don’t just drink all day (but one can dream). And there are more food recipes coming, they just take longer. But while researching one cocktail I often find another, and this one solved a problem, so I had to post it.
The problem is Campari. You know, the super bitter stuff in the back of your liquor cabinet. The medicinal ingredient that mixologists can’t keep out of an otherwise tasty drink. The stuff that keeps those nasty Negronis on all of the trendiest cocktail menus. The stuff that tastes so bad it’s “cool” to drink. Hey, Italians and hipsters drink it so it must be cool.
But I rant, my apologies. As you might guess, Campari can be a polarizing ingredient. As with many ingredients that people “learn to love”, Campari’s proponents can get pretty religious. The rest of us just shrug and wait for the enlightenment that may never come, and meanwhile we will drink things that, you know, taste good.
But I do get the need for a touch of bitter flavor in cocktails (and many foods), the best drinks have a balance of flavors. The problem is that many drinks with Campari are Campari-bombs, like the Negroni. But the Jasmine is something different.
The Jasmine combines gin, lemon juice, Cointreau and Campari (we also add a few drops of simple syrup). This cocktail puts the bitterness of the Campari to good use, but without going crazy. The small accent of Campari gives an edge of bitterness and a very clean finish without making you pucker too much. The pink color from the Campari is a bonus, the Jasmine is a pretty drink. (Yes, I have a thing for rosy-colored drinks and I am manly enough to admit it..;-)
I think the Jasmine might end up being a good “gateway drug” into the world of Campari. It is certainly worth a try. And if you like it you can hang with the cool kids at the bar, you can always find them, all puckered up from drinking their Negroni’s…
(Adapted from the Cocktail Chronicles)
Notes Before You Start:
- The traditional recipe does not include any sugar. But I like a few drops of simple syrup to round out texture and flavor. Your choice.
What You Get: A beautiful and tasty cocktail with a slight bitter edge. Something to do with the Campari gathering dust on your bar.
What You Need: Campari.
How Long? 2 minutes. This is another easy cocktail you could make ahead when entertaining, and then chill and serve at the last minute.
- 1 and ½ oz. dry gin
- ¼ oz. Cointreau (or orange liqueur)
- ¼ oz. Campari
- ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2-4 drops of simple syrup, to taste (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold.
- Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with lemon slice or peel, if you like. Serve.