I am a Campari girl and always will be. Today I am giving you my 2 all time favorite Italian cocktails, and of course, Campari is involved. If you get a chance, order one of these Italian classics in Italy. But if you cannot get there anytime soon, make one at home, sit on the terrace or patio or porch, listen to some Italian hits on spotify and create your own apero-clock at home.
Classic Negroni serves 1
A very strong cocktail this drink is another classic Italian cocktail. The Negroni has become very popular in America in the last 5 years.
You will need: – 1 ounce dry Gin
– 1 ounce Campari
– 1 ounce Italian vermouth
Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled highball glass and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
Negroni Sbagliato – Bar Basso serves 1
What can I say about Bar Basso that has not already been written about? It’s the most classic Italian bar you will set foot it. Its owner is famous for this amazing cocktail. It all started as a mistake, but a happy mistake, and those are the best kind. In my opinion, Bar Basso is what a bar should be like: it’s messy and un-kept though it’s chic décor makes it authentic, warm and friendly but still somewhat chaotic. Great looking people of all ages congregate until late into the night. The blaring neon bar sign beckons you to cross the street and order a drink. Settle in and watch the ultimate sartorialist scene unfold. It’s quintessential Milan.
My newest book, Cocktail Italiano: The Definitive Guide to Aperitivo, Drinks, Nibbles, and Tales of the Italian Riviera, is ready to launch. April 3rd is the official date, and I could not be more thrilled. I loved my first book Picture Perfect Parties, but if I am totally honest, this is the book I was meant to write. It is a complete travelog of the Italian Riviera and all of my favorite places to enjoy the Italian ritual of Aperitivo. Nibbles and drinks fill the pages as well as the brightest and most delicious photos of the beach clubs, bars and boardwalks all the way down the Italian coastline. I loved living in Alassio; it was the most posh seaside vacation town I ever visited, and I had the pleasure of living there and enjoying aperitivo by the seaside on the boardwalk most days. Sharing this with everyone makes me incredibly happy. I will be celebrating in Atlanta on April 5th with a launch party which of course will include an Aperol Spritz or 2.
In honor of Cocktail Italiano‘s launch, I am giving away 12 copies for the 11 seaside towns and 1 major city (Milano) featured in my book.*
What better way to usher in a new season than to welcome it with cocktails?! Since I am still busy wrapping up my second book, Cocktail Italiano, I have cocktails on my mind all the time. These two spring sips are two of my favorites. They’re oldies but goodies.
The first, the Rare Fellow, is like taking a sip of spring harvest especially with its jalapeno garnish. The second, a Blood Orange Margarita, will be your go-to for the season I am sure of it. Who doesn’t love a great margarita? Enjoy and happy spring!
The Rare Fellow
You will need:
– 2 slices of jalapeno pepper ( + 1 slice for garnish)
– 1/2 inch slice of ginger peeled and grated on a microplane
– 2 oz. of fresh orange juice
– 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
– 1 oz. Martin Millers Gin
– 2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice ( or lemonade)
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the ginger, orange juice and jalapeno slices. Add Triple Sec, Gin and lemon juice, along with ice, and shake until combined. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with a jalapeno slice. *Option – For a sweeter version, lemonade can be substituted for the lemon juice.
Photo: by Moi
Blood Orange Margaritas
You will need:
– 1 cup (8 oz.) freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about 7-8 oranges)
– ½ cup (4 oz.) freshly squeezed lime juice
– ¾ cup (6 oz.) tequila
– ½ cup (4 oz.) orange liqueur
– ¼ cup (2 oz.) simple syrup
– Blood orange slices, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir well to combine. Pour into chilled glasses over ice. Garnish with a slice of blood orange, if desired. Serve.
Let’s just keep the tomato theme going this week, shall we?
Oma Blaise Ford is a self-confessed word and image freak who has spent her time over the past 18 years or so making magazines in the shelter and lifestyle arenas. She also happens to be one of my best friends.
Her recipe for a Sungold Zinger screams summer and is a nice, savory twist on a typical sweet summer cocktail. It tastes like a bright splash of summer in a martini glass.
Sungold Zinger (recreated from the bar at Range in San Francisco)
You will need:
– 4 Sungold cherry tomatoes, plus 1 for garnish
– 2 oz Gin
– 3/4 oz Lemon juice
– 1/4 to 1/3 oz agave nectar
In a cocktail shaker, muddle cherry tomatoes to release juice. Add ice and shake with the rest of the ingredients. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a martini glass (you may need to stir the liquid in the strainer to get the whole drink into the glass). Garnish with a cherry tomato.
Notes: The tomatoes matter. (Don’t they always?) The rich sweetness and orangey color of ripe Sungolds make this drink. Range used No. 209 Gin, which I can’t find here, so I use Bombay Sapphire. Adjust the agave nectar depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes, the tartness of the lemon, and your taste. All my friends know I like my drinks on the tart side, so I usually lean toward the lesser amount.
I just love a good, simple summer cocktail, and that’s exactly what this Backyard Bramble is. Of course this cocktail was inspired by Martin Miller’s gin, but it’s also a result of the glorious weather we’ve had in Italy. Not to mention the fabulous workshop attendees and my awesome team who have been helping me trek across Italy for photoshoots. Be sure to follow along on my Instagram for the latest behind the scenes; you’ll never guess what we’re working on!
In the meantime, enjoy this fantastic Backyard Bramble. Mix it up for a crowd and serve it at your next party!
Backyard Bramble (or Martin’s Backyard Bramble if you use Martin Miller’s gin)
You will need:
– 6 oz Blackberries
– Large handful of mint leaves (approx. 12-16 leaves?)
– Juice of half a lemon
– 12 drops or so Meyer lemon bitters
– 4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
– 12 oz Gin
– mineral water or club soda
In a pitcher, muddle blackberries, mint, and lemon juice. Add bitters, St. Germain, and gin. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Strain, and serve over ice topped with mineral water.