My new favorite cocktail, an aperitivo for a Manic Monday

Above: Lately, I’ve been drinking my Campari and Soda with a splash of orange juice. I’m sure this recipe has a name: does anyone know it? Photo by Tracie B.

It’s already been one helluva Monday morning and I’m still working on getting to the bottom of what happened over at Decanter.com on Friday.

I sure wish it were Sunday: yesterday Tracie B and I found ourselves in Houston where we had dined Saturday night at the newly opened winebar Block 7 (look for a post later this week) and we stayed overnight at the St. Regis (thanks to my nimble hand at Priceline).

Above: Tracie B and I love to photograph everything we eat and drink. The bartender at the St. Regis had fun with us and took this photo. She mixed our drinks perfectly to order.

It was fun to wake up to room service and swimming and we had great Mexican food for lunch with Tracie B’s childhood friend Talina at La Mexicana (highly recommended, super family friendly and just all around delicious).

Above: My eyes weren’t bigger than my stomach at La Mexicana. I couldn’t help but order à la carte: from 12 o’clock clockwise, 1 taco al pastor, 1 taco de carnitas (available only on weekends), 1 flauta (which I dipped liberally in creamy guacamole), and 1 cheese enchilada drowning in ranchero sauce.

Man, I wish it were Sunday. That was my fun day…

4 thoughts on “My new favorite cocktail, an aperitivo for a Manic Monday

  1. Hey Dr. J, years ago I was trained by an Italian “Bar Man” to bartend. He worked in Sardinia at one of the high end resorts for many years. When he taught me to make a Campari and soda, it was always with the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 an orange hand squeezed directly into the glass. Then garnished with a slice of orange. So, in direct answer to your question, I believe the drink is called “Campari and soda.” lol

  2. This is a bit of a non sequitur due to its being a thread of commentary by me on another site but I think it’s worth gathering more feedback…

    I think the distinction here is between an actual cocktail, the Garibaldi, and the proper way to garnish a drink, a slice of orange – for a Campari and soda.

    When my european friend taught me to bartend, he stressed the importance of the use of the garnish. A gin and tonic did not simply have a dried out lime wedge appended to the lip of the glass, it had a succulent wedge squeezed into the glass AND a decorative wedge.

    As anyone who has had a proper gin and tonic knows, that one little bit of juice can make a BIG difference in the overall flavor of the drink. It allows the flavors of the drink to meld and become something greater than the sum of its parts. The same applies to a properly garnished Campari and soda.

    A slice of fresh orange squeezed into the glass with a slice on the rim as a garnish. This would impart approximately 1 tablespoon of juice to the drink. This stands in stark contrast to adding enough orange juice to create ANOTHER KIND of cocktail – the Garibaldi.

    It seems to me that some research is called for comparing the Garibaldi, using both regular orange juice and blood orange juice varieties, and a simply garnished Campari soda with 1 slice of fresh orange squeezed into it.

    Then we compare notes again. Any takers?

    I should add that as my European bartender friend taught me, the client should never need to touch their garnish – especially to add flavor to their drink…

  3. Mr. Butler,

    I was of the belief that Jeremy was in fact drinking a Garibaldi, judging by their distincly orange hue. JP also described the cocktail as having “a splash of orange juice”: I suppose only the size and origins of that splash can determine whether he was actually drinking a full-on Garibaldi or simply a heavily garnished Campari Soda. I would make this distinction: a Campari Soda becomes a Garibaldi only when the orange juice in question derives from somewhere other than the orange wedge (ie. juice press, or failing that, carton). I trust Do Bianchi will reveal the truth and put us out of our misery.

    Anyway, thanks for highlighting the distinction, as well as the important role of orange as garnish and ingredient for Campari. As I have mentioned before on this virtual forum, Campari-based drinks must always be garnished with orange and never with lemon — it’s a very bad sign when your Campari shows up with a lemon floating in it. It’s like putting pineapple on your pizza. (Oops, I think I just opened another can of worms…)

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