To begin, I really hated Campari. I've tried it in a few applications and I just couldn't get over the bitterness. Earlier this year, my parents offered me a bottle that they had been gifted and I outright declined it. But I have since noticed how popular Campari based drinks are, every nice (hipster)restaurant these days seems to have a short list of signature drinks and cocktails usually involving Campari. I can get behind a Mojito, but a Negroni? Euuuff, not so sure.
A couple weeks ago at my favourite restaurant, Osteria Venti, I decided to try their signature drink, the 'Venti'. It combines a very simple list of ingredients: Campari, Limoncello, Soda. It was the Limoncello that sold me, as I am now 'cuckoo for cocoa puffs' over the stuff. I asked our server how 'Campari'-ish the drink was and he assured me that the ratio was more of a 4:1 Limoncello to Campari. I'm glad I took his advice and that he wasn't fibbing; it was a great summer drink. It had a slight bitter bite at the end that actually balanced well against the sweetness of the Limoncello and fizz of the soda.
This lead me to purchasing a bottle of Campari on my next visit to the SAQ. I have since made my version but I replaced the soda with sparkling water. It was delicious and I'm glad I have found a palatable use for Campari. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, is it not? So I hope Osteria won't mind that I ripped them off. Thanks Venti!
Sometimes its just a matter of developing a taste for something, my taste buds are often a little slow on the uptake with a new flavour. I'm sure after a few 'Venti's I'll be ready to retry a Negroni. Now I just need a few other Campari recipes to try.