21 July 2010

Benito vs. the Cocktail: Bitter Citrus

After our recent Blogger Summit at Michael's place, we zipped over to Bari for cocktails. The owners of the restaurant have touted their impressive selection of liqueurs and amaros from Italy, including Aperol, which is like a milder, lower-alcohol version of Campari. I asked the bartender to make me something with Aperol, and he put together a cocktail incorporating Prosecco and fresh grapefruit juice. (Sorry, I don't know the specific name or proportions of the cocktail, but ask nicely and I'm sure they'll be happy to make it for you.)

The cocktail was great and certainly refreshing on a hot summer night. I made something similar at home using Campari and an inexpensive sparkling wine.

1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Red Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Campari
Sparkling Wine

Combine the grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and Campari in a glass. Add ice, and then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling wine. Stir gently just enough to blend the ingredients.

This got me to thinking... How would Campari work in a Mimosa? I had orange juice and leftover (slightly flat) bubbly, so why not try it out.

Oh, I'm in love with this. I like Mimosas (way more than Bloody Marys if we're talking brunch cocktails), but this adds additional layers of sour and bitter. And if you've previously been scared of Campari, this might be a fun way to work up to it. Just try a splash, then a little more and a little more over the course of a few Sundays.

This would be perfect with a plate of biscuits and white gravy, maybe a little fresh melon and link sausages on the side. I think that bitter and sour character would be a great contrast to the salty/savory/creamy flavors on the table, throwing your palate back and forth between taste sensations.


Big Mike said...

HOLY MOLY something that goes with Gravy and Cat Head Biscuits!!! We can drink all day now, and it be proper!!! Got to try this one.

Benito said...


I can't really explain it, but something about the Mimosa+Campari just flung a serious craving on me. Maybe it's the way that bitter things like fresh grapefruit, coffee, and orange marmalade help cut through the grease and meat of a standard Southern breakfast.

I haven't had any decent biscuits and gravy in a long while... Gonna have to take care of that soon.