Recently, I've been trying to up my cocktail game a lot more. I have lots of ideas, it is just that I know my cocktail photography needs a lot of improvement, which I think is why I keep on putting off shooting my favourite drinks I mix up at home, opting to share them on Instagram instead. However, my Analytics tell me that a lot of you keep visiting my 'Cocktails' section, so I feel kind of guilty that I've only got a handful up there. So, I'm going to try and do better, and today I'm going to share with you my favourite at the moment, a quick, simple, 2 ingredient traditional Italian number that I've been mixing up before dinner whenever I fancy it in seconds with store cupboard ingredients; the Garibaldi, colloquially known as the Campari Orange.
Last Christmas, knowing that I wanted to get more into mixing my own cocktails my Mother (slash intern!) got me a shaker and a whole load of miniatures so I could play around with what I liked. One of these, that sat around for a whole 7 months before being sampled was Campari, a bright red Italian bitters from Milan. I honestly had no idea what to do with it before one of my favourite food writers Emiko Davies (she's a brilliant Italian, Australia based writer who is my go to along with Silver Spoon and Claudia Roden's The Food Of Italy for regional Italian cooking) wrote about the Garibaldi in her Regional Italian Food column over at Food 52. I urge you to click through and read her article for a full background on the drink, but what I found I liked about her recipe, is how she'd balanced the ratio of bitters to orange juice rather than using 50:50 to make for a smoother drink. I love my bitters, but this is much more to my tastes.
While I'm big on both sweet and bitter drinks (which is why I think while I'm getting pretty habitual with this one already, the rest of the family don't seem to like it), it stops it being too bitter; you don't want to pucker after taking a sip. I have not changed the recipe much from her proportions, but I've found that the proportions fit perfectly into using just 1 large, or 2 medium oranges per person. I'm talking the nice big oranges you get at the farmers market or loose in the supermarket, as opposed to the value nets that I took to buying when I realised how much I liked starting my evening with a nice cool glass of one of these.
- 30ml Campari
- Juice of 1 Large or 2 Medium Oranges
- Handful Ice Cubes
Juice the oranges. While usually a reamer gets more juice out of your fruits (which you should always, with any citrus roll along the worktop first to help get the most out of it), I prefer a two part citrus juicer for this job as it holds back all the pips and pulp. Pour the Campari over ice in a tumbler and then add the orange juice. Pause to take any Instagram shots of your cocktail you make require while you have a pretty ombre gradient in the glass, then stir before enjoying with a few pre-dinner nibbles. I promise to post a few recipes for nibbles as soon as I've made the effort to make them myself at home rather than buying them in the wine section of my local French supermarket in Brittany. Let's get the doing cocktails on the regular thing down first, shall we? Though, there is one number in the Honey & Co. book that looks quite tempting...
Do you have any pre-dinner drinks and aperitifs you enjoy either out and about at home? As well as my new favourite, the Garibaldi, my aperitif of choice I like to keep in the fridge is Lillet Blanc, a lovely French drink that is also often found in cocktail recipes I got into after hunting down a bottle in Carrefour after reading David Lebovitz's article about it. I'm also rather partial to a terrible French aperitif my Father and I buy by the box (the bottles were just not cutting it for us) called Very Pamp, which is a popular mix of rosé wine and grapefruit flavouring. Now lets watch my credibility as anyone allowed to write about wine simply fly out the window. But who cares, because it is delicious cold sitting out on the patio on a Summers evening.