Although most people associate Campari with the ever-popular Negroni, I wanted to make a not-so-intense Campari cocktail. This Gin Campari Sour is not nearly as bitter as a Negroni, skips the vermouth, and adds in lemon juice to brighten things up.
This is such a delicious and refreshing drink for summer! If you enjoy this one, you'll love the Enzoni cocktail, which is another take on a gin sour and Negroni combination. Or, try out the ever popular Negroni Sbagliato, which uses Prosecco in place of the gin.
Bitter flavors are one of the key components of a balanced cocktail. One way to add bitterness is to use an amaro liqueur. "Amaro" means "bitter" in Italian, and is also the name of a type of liqueur with a bitter and sweet taste profile.
There are many, many different kinds of amari ("amari" is the plural of amaro). Campari Aperitivo liqueur, with its bright red color, is one of the most well-known and widely available types.
Although the exact ingredients used to make Campari are kept secret, it is on the citrusy side in flavor. It has a heavy bitter note, like biting into a citrus rind, but also a lot of sweetness.
Creating the Gin Campari Sour
The Negroni cocktail balances out its sweetness with bitterness, but here we'll add in some bright acidity to balance it out too. Fresh lemon is the perfect addition, as well as a sweet liqueur in place of the vermouth.
Here are the ingredients you'll need for this drink.
- Gin - a dry gin works great. I used Plymouth Gin.
- Campari - Campari Aperitivo liqueur, a red Italian liqueur, brings bitterness and sweetness along with citrus flavors.
- Rhubarb Ginger liqueur - I used Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb Ginger liqueur, which is an absolutely delicious spirit and goes perfectly here. If you don't have this, you could substitute in a different fruity liqueur or Triple Sec.
- Lemon juice - freshly squeezed if possible.
- Simple syrup - use store bought, or make your own simple syrup.
This is a pretty easy one to make! Just combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, Campari, and Ginger Rhubarb liqueur in a shaker.
Fill the shaker with ice and shake about 15-20 times to chill and dilute the drink.
Add ice to your serving glass. Then, strain it into your glass.
To finish it off, twist a lemon peel on top of the cocktail. Garnish with the lemon peel, and serve.
Try chilling your glass ahead of time to keep your drink colder longer. Just stick it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before making the cocktail. Cheers!
Gin Campari Sour
- 1½ fl oz gin
- ½ fl oz Campari
- ½ fl oz Rhubarb Ginger liqueur you can also substitute in another light/fruity liqueur, or use more Campari
- 1 fl oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ fl oz simple syrup
- Chill your cocktail glass if you are serving it up, without ice.
- Add the gin, Campari, Rhubarb Ginger liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake well, about 15-20 times.
- Strain the cocktail into your serving glass, either with or without ice. You can use one strainer, or double strain by passing it through a fine mesh cocktail strainer as well.
- Cut a thin piece of lemon peel and twist it over the top of the glass. Add the lemon peel as a garnish and serve.