5 Campari cocktails to make when the shortage ends (RECIPES)

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There’s no denying the versatility of Campari — Italy’s famous cocktail bitter — in quality drink mixing. And with Canada currently experiencing a Campari shortage, lovers of this apéritif will be clamouring to get their hands on a bottle once it’s back in stock at local liquor stores.

When the beloved spirit does finally hit shelves again, or if you’re one of the lucky one who still has a bottle, go ahead and mix up some of these classic Campari-driven libations. Whether you’re entertaining friends at home, or unwinding after a day’s work, these five cocktails will have you hooked just like I am.

1. The Negroni

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Possibly the world’s most famous Campari cocktail, the Negroni was invented in Florence, Italy some time around 1919. Its simplicity is deceiving as its flavour is actually quite complex. Note: the type of gin and vermouth you choose can drastically change the drink’s flavour profile, so play around with different brands to find your favourite combination.

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. Gin (I suggest Beefeater)
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (I suggest Cinzano Rosso)
  • 1 oz. Campari
Method:
  • Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass.
  • Top with fresh orange zest.

2. The Lucien Gaudin

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

The ‘Lucien Gaudin’ was first introduced to me by Vancouver bar legend Jay Jones in 2010, and I haven’t been able to find a better cocktail since. The story of its origins had me hooked before I even tried it. Lucien Gaudin was a world famous fencer and double Olympic gold medalist hailing from France, and at the time of his death in 1934 he was considered the best swordsman to have ever lived. While dueling with a novice fencer he was cut badly and could no longer compete in the sport he loved, and, tormented by his future, Gaudin took an early exit. His legend now lives on in this world-class libation.

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz.  Gin (I suggest Tanqueray No. Ten)
  • 0.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 0.5 oz. Campari
  • 0.5 oz. Dry Vermouth (I suggest Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry)
Method:
  • Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Strain to a pre-chilled martini or cocktail glass.
  • Top with fresh lemon zest.

3. The Spagliato

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

The Spagliato (pronounced spal-yacht-oh) came together by fluke, as history has it. Somebody, somewhere in Milan accidentally grabbed the spumante instead of the gin, and a new cocktail legend was born. Spagliato in Italian literally means “mistake”, but there’s no mistaking that this cocktail is delightful — especially as a weekend brunch accompaniment.

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. Gin (I suggest Beefeater)
  • 1 oz. Cinzano Rosso
  • 1 oz. Prosecco
Method:
  • Build over ice in an old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with an orange slice.

4. The Boulevardier

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

The Boulevardier, an American version of the Negroni, is a drink that packs a wicked punch. Commonly made with Kentucky Bourbon, this extremely versatile cocktail can take on many forms (just like its Italian cousin). Choosing an appropriate whisky is your first step, and in my opinion, bourbon at 50 percent proof works best. You’ll also need a solid vermouth, and luckily for us our liquor store shelves are loaded with all kinds of great options to choose from.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon (I suggest Woodford Reserve)
  • 0.75 oz. Campari
  • 0.75 oz. Sweet Vermouth (I suggest Carpano Antica Formula)
Method:
  • Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Pour into a cocktail glass with fresh ice cubes.
  • Top with fresh orange zest.

5. The Jasmine

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Photo courtesy Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Not to be confused with a Cosmopolitan (they share a slightly pink hue), the ‘Jasmine’ is a slightly sweeter and more approachable libation that serves as a nice introduction for the inexperienced Campari drinker, as well as a perfect summertime thirst quencher.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 oz. Gin (I suggest Jensen’s Old Tom)
  • 0.75 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz. Cointreau
  • 0.25 oz. Campari
Method:
  • Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice for 15 seconds.
  • Double strain to a pre-chilled martini or cocktail glass.
  • Top with fresh orange zest.

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About the author

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Justin Taylor A renowned bartender and cocktail creator, Justin Taylor has been a fixture in the industry in both Toronto and Vancouver for the better part of two decades. As Bar Manager at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, located at the iconic Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, Justin continues to stir up the Vancouver bartending scene with a heady mix of knowledge, panache, wit and hospitality.
@taylormixology

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