I’ve got campari on the brain. For those of you not familiar with this Italian liqueur, it’s glow-tastically red, quite bitter, and packs a punch. It’s quite nice with soda, lots of ice, and maybe a maraschino cherry.
But my favourite campari drink, hands down, is the negroni (nuh-gr-awe-nee). For one thing, it sounds a lot like my name, and when you say it fast (as in, “I’d like a negroni, please,”) it totally sounds like I just ordered myself from the bartender. A negroni is equal parts campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. Put it on ice and add an orange twist, and you have a lovely aperitif. The key is for lots of ice, because it’s definitely not a lightweight drink. The ice helps to mellow it out, and keep it crisp and cold.
It’s hard to find in this city. I’ve gotten some strange looks from waitstaff, and a lot of bars don’t have campari or sweet vermouth. But you can get it at The Cascade Room, Subeez, and Wasubeez. If you get it at (Wa)subeez, ask for it in a highball with ice. For some strange reason they do it as a martini, which is…well, it’s just wrong.