Thursday, July 16, 2009

Let Autumn Lend a Little Inspiration to Your Cocktailing

Autumn’s an often underappreciated time of year, bookended by two arguably more popular seasons. Yet despite its low profile, Autumn is an unusual season of great inspiration, provoking passionate reactions in creative types like American author William Cullen Bryant who wrote of Autumn as “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” Allow autumn to inspire your cocktailing this year and try Campari, an Italian spirit that has inspired artists and tastemakers for almost 150 years. Campari is the distinctive spirit of choice for those who appreciate its complex flavor profile and are eager to find new ways to showcase this sophisticated spirit’s one-of-a-kind personality.

In 1919, Count Camillo Negroni told his adventurous bartender at Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy, to make his favorite cocktail, the Americano, a bit bolder. The bartender replaced the soda with a splash of gin and the Negroni was born. The trendsetting Count’s cocktail quickly caught on and today is one of Campari’s most popular cocktails, appearing on bar menus across the United States, from Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco to Employees Only in New York. The Negroni, a favorite of master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, is a perfect complement to an autumn dinner, served at the beginning or end of the meal.

In a more modern example of innovative Campari cocktailing, Arturo Sighinolfi, Director of Development and Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits Miami, added Campari to a traditionally rum-focused cocktail to create the Mojito Italiano. This delicious creation is a great accompaniment for the Italian celebration of pride embodied in Columbus Day festivities.

Experience the unique flavors of a Campari cocktail, a welcome accessory to the characteristically crisper weather of the autumn season.

Created in 1919 in Florence, per the request of Count Camilo Negroni

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
1 ounce Gin

Pour ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake and strain in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Mojito Italiano
Created by Arturo Sighinolfi, Director of Development and Mixology at SWS Miami

1/2 ounce Campari
1 1/2 ounces Flor de Cana Rum
3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
1 ounce Prosecco
3 Mint Sprigs

Muddle mint, syrup and lemon juice. Add Campari and rum, shake and pour. Top with Prosecco and garnish with mint sprig.

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