Wine Wednesday: Campari adds Italian flare to any celebration

This fall when you make plans to celebrate the season, your engagement or post wedding celebration with friends and family, add an unexpected twist. Why not embrace the longtime ritual of the “aperitivo?” The aperitivo (which translates “to open”) has been an Italian tradition for more than a century, where friends and family mingle over cocktails and enjoy light appetizers to stimulate their appetite before the main meal that lies ahead.

This type of cocktail typically low in alcohol, traditionally features the world’s number one-selling aperitif, Campari. This very versatile spirit is made from the infusion of herbs, aromatic plants, fruit in alcohol and water. I think that serving Campari as you celebrate will be a good omen.  How?  Well, they are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, so it should bring you and your marriage, the same good luck for the same longevity.

I hope you enjoy this collection of Campari aperitif cocktails from some of the best restaurants and notable mixologists in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.  Today, I’m also including this yummy Mediterranean Crostini.

Cheers, don’t forget to drink responsibly and Happy Aperitivo!

Sorrento in Red

Served at Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria in New York

1 ½ oz. Campari

1 oz. Limoncello

Splash of Tangerine Juice

Splash of Lime Juice

Dash of Orange Bitters

Pour ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake and strain ingredients over ice into stemmed wine glass. No garnish.

Champino

Served at the Tarpit in Los Angeles

1 oz. Campari

1 oz. Sweet Vermouth

Splash of Champagne

Pour Campari and Sweet Vermouth over ice into a shaker.  Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Add a splash of champagne. Garnish with lemon twist.

Roasted Orange Negroni Sbagliato

Created by Joe Campanale of dell’Anima in New York

1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth

1 ¼ oz. Campari

1 ¼ oz. Sparkling White Wine

1 Roasted Orange Wedge

Orange Peel for Garnish

Place the orange in a mixing glass and add vermouth. Muddle the two so that the charred bits are released into the vermouth. Add Campari and ice, and stir. Strain into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice and top with sparkling wine. Do not stir as this will dissipate the bubbles. Garnish with orange peel.

**Roasted Orange preparation: Slice oranges into wedges and place in a sealable container. Top with sweet red vermouth and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove oranges from the vermouth and char on a grill until the sugar caramelizes and black specks form on the oranges.

Mediterranean Crostini

Yields 4 Servings

150g Tomato Pulp

4 Slices of Homemade Bread

30g Pitted Olives

10g Fresh Oregano

2 Anchovy Fillets in Oil

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Capers in Salt

1 Clove of Garlic

Salt

Cut each slice of bread into 6 square/rectangular pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 200°C for 5 minutes (or until toasted), turning halfway through the cooking time.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the oregano, scraping the leaves off the stems and chopping with a knife. Rinse the capers under running water to remove the salt then chop together with the anchovies.

Peel and crush the garlic then cook in a pan with a little oil until it softens. After about 5 minutes, remove the garlic, turn up the heat, add the capers, anchovies and coarsely chopped olives and stir. Sauté for 1 minute and then add the tomato pulp. Add a little salt and leave to cook for 10 minutes. Stir and turn off the heat.

Spread some of the mixture over each slice of toast and sprinkle the oregano over the top. Serve while still warm.

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