The Campari Dolce

by Stevi on February 27, 2009

in Bitters,Cocktails,Gin,Original,Thursday Drink Night,Vermouth

Has this ever happened to you? You invent a new drink, and you think it’s the greatest thing ever. You sweat over a good name, you brag about it to all your friends. And then you forget about it. You remember a few months later, and try it again, and cannot imagine what lead you to think it was a great drink.

Campari Dolce

Campari Dolce

Happily, this is not the case with the Campari Dolce. I invented this drink at a Thursday Drink Night in October. The ingredient for the night was honey mix. I wanted to balance the sweetness with a good dose of bitterness, and had just started experimenting with Campari, so it seemed a natural ingredient to try. I decided to use gin as my base, and some orange bitters to add depth. It was one of those drinks that came together naturally. I was of course happy when the other participants that night seemed to like it, and even happier when it was declared the winning drink for the night.

In my never ending quest to try new drinks, the Campari Dolce fell off my radar until last night. I thought I would try it again, and see how my old friend was. I was delighted to discover I still really like the drink!

Campari Dolce

1.5 oz London dry gin (Right Gin)
1 oz Campari
0.5 oz honey mix
2 dashes orange bitters (Angostura Orange)

Stir ingredients over ice for 30 seconds or more, strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherries.

Honey mix is one part honey to one part water. Heat over low heat until they mix, then store in the fridge. This makes the honey far more mixable than straight.

At the original TDN, I offered up a slight variation for those who are still intimidated by the bitterness of Campari.

Campari Dolce Variation

1.5 oz London dry gin (Right Gin)
1 oz Campari
0.75 oz honey mix

0.5 oz bianco vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters (Angostura Orange)

Have any drinks you invented stood the test of time?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

scomorokh February 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Great cocktail! It worth to try!

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Marleigh February 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm

We do love the Campari. Have to give this one a try!

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Tommy B. Goode February 27, 2009 at 7:03 pm

This looks fwesh! If you had to do without the citrus-based bitters, what might you add instead?

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Stevi February 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Good question, Tom. I think a lot of bitters, especially aromatic bitters, use a bit of citrus peel for flavoring.

I think the drink would be fine without bitters, given the complexity you already have in the Campari. Cherry bitters might be a nice addition.

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Rick March 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

You had me worried a second there (and definitely nodding) at that first paragraph. This is still a delightful cocktail; I’ll have to give your variation a try Stevi.

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Stevi March 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Rick,
I’m not sure why I left that as the first paragraph, unless at the moment I felt a deep need to provide a bait ‘n’ switch. “This is not the flash in the pan cocktail you were expecting.”

Once I hit publish, I felt I should stick with it.

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Nathan March 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm

The Campari Dolce is one of the few TDN drinks I’ve added to my recipe list, and every now and then my eyes will fall on it and I’ll make myself one. It has a surprising and enjoyable taste.

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