With the surge of cocktail culture has come a tremendous adoption of unique and interesting ingredients to help push the envelope on flavor and balance in drink mixing. While this can lead to all sorts of exciting outcomes in the best bars around the country, the challenge for the everyday drinker has been magnified. For one, many of these ingredients can read as foreign and confusing as learning another language; orgeat and cynar sound more like monsters than they do cocktail ingredients. But even worse, once we become accustomed and even learn to love them, buying a full bottle can seem a bit daunting. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our new series, highlighting our favorites and squashing the misconceptions. It’s time to introduce, The Modifiers…
I decided to start with Campari because it captured the above mentioned challenges perfectly for me as I started to expand my in-home cocktail making. I had seen the classic bottle for years and was always intrigued by the bright red liquid and the old-school label. But to be honest, I hadn’t tried many drinks that called for Campari as I evolved my drinking habits. And then I had a negroni. I’ve professed my love for the negroni and it’s namesake before (check that post here), but even after this realization, still I stayed reluctant to buy a bottle of Campari for my bar at home. I figured, how many negronis would I be drinking? Did it really warrant a whole bottle?
Well the answer on this modifier is simple my friends. The answer is 100% yes. I probably don’t even have to tell you how aesthetically perfect a bottle of Campari looks on your home bar set-up: every bar needs a little color and class my friends. But once you have Campari in your life, you’ll be amazed at how often you reach for it. First off, I was an idiot to ask the question on how many negronis would I actually drink. The answer it turns out is many and that in itself warrants a bottle of Campari. But something as simple as Campari and Soda with a splash of fresh grapefruit juice is about as refreshing as you can possibly get and a drink you’ll almost certainly adopt to nurse your way through the intensely hot summer (didn’t take long to complain about a new type of weather now did it?). The point is, the bitter and citrus notes of the Campari are perfect matches to so many flavor profiles in cocktail creation. Campari may be the Lebron of modifiers in fact; making all sorts of other ingredients shine in it’s presence.
Check back weekly for more from The Modifiers.