Campari is a popular Italian amaro noted for it's bracing bitter flavor profile. It was created by Gaspare Campari in 1860 in Novara, Italy. The bright red color was originally produced using cochineal which is a dye that comes from the shells of insects.
In the early 20th Century, Campari started to gain worldwide acclaim. Some classic drinks were invented that use Campari such as the Negroni, Americano, and Garibaldi cocktail.
For my first 10 or so drinking years I steered clear of Campari. I thought it was excessively bitter and didn't see what all the fuss was about. Over time my palate changed and I started losing interest in sweeter drinks (think Amaretto Sour with cheap sour mix). Instead I was drawn to drier, stronger, and in some cases more bitter drinks (think Manhattans with Angostura bitters). Campari started to taste better. In fact that nice bitter edge at the end cleared the palate and encouraged another sip. And another.
So now I stock Campari and a few other amari in my bar. I have grown to love the interplay between the sweetness in front, the fruit/herbal/spice middle, and the bitter finish (I also got into IPAs but that's another story). A Negroni is always at the top of my list, especially with good vermouth. And a Campari and Soda with a big fat lemon twist is about as refreshing as you can get on a hot summer day.
Did you have a similar experience? Did you have to evolve your palate before you liked Campari? Tap out a comment below and let us know.
|Retail Price||$23 / 750 ml|