29 August 2009

Signature Cocktails & Campari

To enhance a dinner gathering, cocktail party or any other event, we like the idea of introducing a "signature cocktail". Whether this is your house specialty or something tied to the theme of your event, signature cocktails can be a great way to emphasize the occasion.

For a recent late summer dinner, we wanted to offer a refreshing aperitif when the 12-14 guests arrived from afternoon golf. Not having a professional bartender in our house (though a few may pretend), we rely on Instant Bartender for the recipe for just about any cocktail, shot, punch, or frozen drink you might want as a signature cocktail.

The crowd - and in particular the host - liked Campari (not everyone does ;-). Campari, a type of bitters, is an alcoholic aperitif (alcohol varies from 20.5% to 28% depending on where it's purchased country) obtained from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water. Another favorite go-to resource for libation inspiration is The Intoxicologist, who's recent post "Escape to the Italian Seaside with Campari Summer Cocktails" offers the quintessential discussion of the merits of drinking Campari.

With Campari as the lead in our signature cocktail effort, we took a look on Instant Bartender, and found inspiration for our signature drink.

Goodnight Kiss (courtesy of Instant Bartender)
4 oz. Champagne (Prosecco or Cava are easy on the budget and work just as well).
1 splash Campari
1 cube sugar (we opted to use Agave Nectar instead)
1 drop Angostura bitters
Orange twist (optional)

Put one drop of Angostura Bitter on sugar cube and drop in flute. Add champagne and splash of Campari.

The slight effervescence - coupled with the deep red of the Campari - made for a perfect complement to the sunset welcome. We added an orange twist for a bit of citrus and color.

Of course, we looked to savvyhostmarket for an interesting approach to serving this signature cocktail in the informal, al fresco environment. We chose to forego traditional champagne flutes - too delicate for this occasion - and opted instead to use the Salzburg Aperitif Glasses in frosty White . An elegant combination that played up the colorful Campari.

To select a signature cocktail for your next party, think color - cuisine - culture - and the theme or context for the gathering to help you choose. And don't forget your friendly Instant Bartender is only a click away with inspiration...

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