Fruit flaunts its finest in summer, inspiring artists to capture and create with colour and vivacity of the fairest months. Flavour and pigment are easy enough to extract, but the challenge is building upon those tastes to define a complete sensory personality of breadth and substance.
While sweetness is a natural element to wrest from ripe botanicals, it is the most simple of the senses on its own. Great compositions of flavour come from a trifecta of elements: intensity, complexity, and balance. Sourness is a reliable contrast, building body while countering sweetness with mouth-watering acidity. Salt complements sugar by highlighting its natural assets but adding tonal depth and interest with flavour enhancement. Bitter is the most fascinating of the senses to introduce to a cocktail composition, but one which still intimidates those unfamiliar.
The bartending world has many bitter bastions of creativity, with Campari at the top of the list. Gaspare Campari likely did not envision that his creation would have such market stamina. He opened Caffe Campari, in the heart of Milan, and his invention was soon the talk of the town.This brightly hued aperitivo has fascinated palates and inspired cocktail creators around the globe for over 150 years now. (Its classic deep red colour was achieved by using cochineal insects in the making, a practise ceased only in 2005.) Born in Novara, a town in the northern Italian mountains, and forged with bitter herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit in alcohol and water, it is one of the most loved amaros in the world. The original recipe, passed down over the years and carefully guarded, is still in use today.
Campari is bitter by foundation, but it is the resultant personalities of the cocktails it takes part in which fascinates us: stimulating complexities of aroma, flavour, and structure that make its affects unique, timeless. Red fruit surges from Campari’s core, with spices, sweetness, and incredible colour to draw from—a spirituous summer cornucopia with which to create and celebrate.