Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bitters

SO, I like the idea of cocktails. They seem sort of neat, and perhaps sophisticated, and at least a little more interesting than than my usual whiskey straight or, as previously mentioned, the occasional gin and tonic. But, you need stuff to make them. More precisely, you need little bits of stuff-- dashes and eighths of teaspoons for instance. I'm pretty sure that's why I generally avoid them; they seem like a nuisance. Like Gnats or fruit flies or lint.
Therefore, I'm perpetually secretly seeking an arsenal of mixed drink recipes-- ones that simply require pouring pours and mixing with ice via the lone sundae spoon that always ends up underneath the silverware tray some how.
And that, ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, is how I ended up with a bottle of Campari. I would request conspiracy charges however, for the guy who wrote the "lazy bartender" blurb in last month's Bon Appetit that described Campari as the perfect summer cocktail when mixed simply with club soda.
Given such a glowing review, you can imagine my surprise when I wandered over to the Campari website and they described it as "the ultimate acquired taste"... should they be trying to sell the stuff? Honestly, how bad could it really be?
The reverse psychology worked. We ran out and bought a bottle.
Campari is neutral grain alcohol flavored with a secret blend of herbs and barks and bug shells (for color) that tastes approximately like the peel of a grapefruit: a lovely light citrus that is quickly replaced by the purest bitter imaginable, the sort of pureness that lands metals and gasses on the periodic table.
And people drink it. For fun. People like me, apparently, since Jason and I are now proud owners of a whole fifth of it.
Now, least Jason call me on it, I am being a bit hyperbolic. Or at least, he would think so, because he likes the stuff, cold, mixed with a little club soda.
I do not. There's a cocktail made out of this stuff, called a negroni, which adds sweet vermouth and gin, which I find palatable, but the best way I've discovered to drink it is in a light white wine, like cheap Vhino Verde, which is down right delicious.
And while the fifth was nearly $30, and near everyone I have handed it to thus far has made a face like a cat in the bathtub upon first sip, I'd say it's worth buying for a party if you never have. Just make sure you have a little sweeter white wine around, or even orange juice, and you just may acquire the taste.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Hi,
I'm from Ann Arbor. Love your blog, it was recommended to me by a mutual friend. Wanted to ask you a couple of questions about it but didn't see a way to email you directly. Would you be willing to contact me? julie.michigan@gmail.com