Saturday, June 18, 2011

Campari Smash

Back in May, I mentioned that my spouse can't stand Campari except in the 1794 Cocktail. Almost any other drink containing the bitter apéritif sends her into contortions and it looks as if she's trying to gnaw her ears off.

However, the Campari Smash is another exception. I can't remember where I found the recipe, but whenever I discover a new Campari drink, I use it to experiment on my ol' lady - hoping maybe she'll come around to its pleasing flavors. This particular cocktail was met with a raised eyebrow and a dubious grunt, but when she tasted its tart and pleasing flavor, she gave me a look of approval. Then, she relapsed into a mild spasm as the Campari made itself known.

Anyway, it's a delicious cocktail, with sweet floral notes, tart citrus, and fresh basil commingling with the bitter finish of Campari. It's a perfect light and refreshing mix for a summer afternoon. Here is how you make it:

Campari Smash
  • 2 oz Campari
  • 1 oz St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
  • 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
  • Half a lemon, cut into four wedges
  • 7 fresh basil leaves

Take half a lemon, and cut it into four wedges. Throw those into a shaker with seven basil leaves. Take a pestle or spoon and muddle the basil and lemon wedges to get the juice flowing. Add the Campari and the St. Germain, along with two dashes of orange bitters. Add ice cubes and shake the bastard hard, really hard. In your mind, imagine that you're tearing that basil to shreds with your vigorous shaking.

Strain the concoction into a glass filled with crushed ice, and top it off with a fresh basil leaf for color and aroma... Bottoms up!

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