December 29, 2013

Two Rosy Cocktails with Fresh Citrus, Gin, and Campari


So, citrus and Campari (a red bitters) is a pretty delicious combination. Before I even knew what Campari was, I knew it was a perfect match with grapefruit; we have for a long time loved a sorbet flavor called Grapefruit Campari made by Blue Moon Sorbet in Vermont.

When we were cashing in on a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant this summer we went all out by having a drink at the bar beforehand and Gordie ordered off the menu a Buona Vita-- grapefruit juice, Campari, gin, and elderflower cordial. We both, but he especially, thought it was a great cocktail and soon had to look around online for proportions in order to make it at home. Thus was the Buona Vita (what a name, huh?) introduced to us.  
Then this Christmas I received Alice Waters's The Art of Simple Food II which is where I found the second drink recipe that I think I personally enjoy even more. The recipe was in the section at the end of the book about citrus and with recipes for using citrus in its prime. It was called a Cara Cara Campari Cocktail. Besides the alluring alliteration of the name, I knew I loved Cara Cara oranges since sometime last winter when I tasted various types of oranges at our Co-Op Food Store and learned that they were the most beautiful and most delicious, and as we are thrillingly on the cusp of citrus season again I happened to have a few of them in the house. 
Fruity, but not too fruity, the Campari and gin balance out and make more complex the fruitiness of the citrus. Both drinks are way too refreshing and drinkable for how strong they actually are. So, put your kid(s) to bed tonight, stir up one of these fancy cocktails, and make a toast to the beginning of citrus season and to a few more days off in the coming week!
Buona Vita
from online somewhere and inspired by the Falcon Bar at the Equinox Hotel

2 oz. gin
2 oz. grapefruit juice
1 oz. elderflower cordial (St. Germain)
1/2 oz. campari
optional: orange-peel garnish

Combine all, stir, add ice.


Cara Cara Campari Cocktail
from The Art of Simple Food II, by Alice Waters

2 oz. Cara Cara orange juice (or any orange juice I'm sure)
2 oz. sparkling wine OR 1 oz. gin (we used gin because we didn't have sparkling wine and recalled the other recipe above that this was similar to)
1 oz. Campari
optional: orange-rind garnish

Combine all, stir, add ice.


  1. Just got some Campari so we could make these cocktails, as we had all the other ingredients already. We will serve them to the Komptermans and Slivas this weekend and report back. Yum.

  2. I'm jealous too.

    About the friends. I don't even know what Campari is, so I can't be jealous about that. But it's something that I should drink when camping, apparently.