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, and has lemon juice to brighten things up.
Bitter flavors are one of the key components of a balanced cocktail. One way to add bitterness is to use an amaro, which means "bitter" in Italian, and is also the name of a type of liqueur with a bitter taste profile.
There are many, many different kinds of amari ("amari" is the plural of amaro). Campari, 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
This is a sour cocktail, which means that it has a sour ingredient that must be balanced out with sweetness. The usual ratio for a sour cocktail is 2 parts alcohol, 1 part sour, and 1 part sweet.
The two liqueurs both have alcohol, so I brought down the total amount of gin. The liqueurs also have a lot of sweetness, but the sour from the lemon and the bitterness from the Campari are both working against it. So, a little more simple syrup is needed to balance things out.
Making the Cocktail
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.
You can serve this up without ice, or in an old fashioned glass with ice. If you're serving it up, chill your glass before straining the cocktail. Strain it into your glass and twist a lemon peel on top of the cocktail. Garnish with the lemon peel and serve.
Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy
- This Blackberry Empress Gin Sour is a more fruity cocktail, with gin as the highlight
- The Last Word is a classic gin-based cocktail
- This unique Mezcal Chocolate Cherry cocktail combines smoky mezcal with cocoa and maraschino
Did You Make this Cocktail?
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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.