On hot days, I like to have something tall and refreshing with a bit of alcohol, lots of ice, and sparkling water or club soda. A spritz of sorts. My potion of choice is Campari, an amaro produced in Italy that is generally used at the cocktail hour. Campari’s most famous cocktail is the Negroni made with gin and vermouth, but I like something lighter and more refreshing. Having a bit of alcohol on a hot day is nice, but too much is overpowering, so Campari fits the bill. Campari was first produced in the mid-1800s and gradually gained fame in the United States with the posh travel crowds of the 1960s. I had my first Campari and soda on a sailboat in Portofino, Italy; it was quite a surprise!
Campari is sold in 750 ml bottles, so I have a smaller traveler bottle that I take with me on the sailboat and we tuck a few cans of soda in a cooler bag with cheese and crackers. You can vary your Campari spritz with a splash of Italian white wine or prosecco, and you might also enjoy a “Bicyclette”, another refreshing drink. While we wait for the sun, practice your mixology. As the Italian would say, “Cin cin!”
Campari and Soda
- 2 ounces Campari
- 4 – 5 ounces grapefruit sparkling water
- Optional – 1 ounce of fresh orange juice for sweetness
- 1 very large lemon wedge
- A large tall pint glass
Directions: Fill the glass with ice to the top of the rim, add the soda, top with the Campari; if you like a bit more sweetness, add orange juice. Garnish with a thick wedge of lemon.