This Campari cocktail is as simple as it comes, folks. Simply mix Campari and wine, sit back, and enjoy.
I call this Campari cocktail a bicycle because once you are on, you are on, just keep pedaling, have another.–Daniel de la Falaise
LC At First Blush Note
This Campari cocktail is perhaps the simplest cocktail to concoct ever. Simply pour Campari and Champagne in a glass and sit back and reflect, as you sip, on how you handled that task with such ease and grace—or, even better, let your guests help themselves since you’ll want to tailor each cocktail with whatever proportion of Campari and Champagne (or, if you care for things a touch sweeter, prosecco) you deem most lovely. It’s helpful to recall that Campari is quite bitter and even the faintest blush of the ruby elixir in bubbly may be a tad too much for those accustomed to taking their bubbly straight. So start modestly and then act with caution—apt advice for whenever behavior mingles with booze, eh?
- Ice cubes
- 2 teaspoons Campari or to taste
- 4 ounces chilled dry white wine or sparkling wine or more (light wines with a hint of effervescence work well, as do wines with some sweetness)
- Sprig mint, sliced stone fruit, strawberry, borage leaf or flower or other accoutrements for garnish
- Chill your wine glasses.
- Place a cube of ice in each glass. Add a blush of Campari (we encourage you to start with the smaller amount) and then top it off with chilled dry white wine. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a slice of white peach or a strawberry, and if you want to be hoity-toity, a borage leaf or flower.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love trying new cocktails and had never tried Campari before, so I was intrigued by this lovely Champagne cocktail. I chose sliced strawberries and a sprig of mint, but didn’t use the borage leaf. Since the recipe didn’t give specific amounts, I went with 6 ounces wine (in this case, an effervescent Vinho Verde) and a 1-ounce shot Campari. I found it a bit bitter for my taste, and since the recipe called for a “blush of Campari,” I tried it again, this time with 1/2 ounce Campari, and that was more to my liking. It was such a pretty pink as well, like a delicate rosé. It was very refreshing and slightly bitter, which I enjoyed, but then I had an aha moment. Why not try making this cocktail with a sweet Italian sparkling wine (one that I usually use to make mimosas)? With the sweeter sparkling wine, I added a full 1-ounce shot and that was it. Bellissimo! A pretty blush pink cocktail, cool and refreshing. This cocktail is clearly a “to taste” recipe. So give it a try, experiment with different wines, and you’ll find a winner.
This aperitif is refreshing and bright, great for that first spring drink on the patio. Dial the Campari all the way down to a bare blush of pink (faux rosé?), or way up for a punch of grapefruit rind bitterness. My perfect amount is about 2 teaspoons Campari in 5 ounces bubbly—inexpensive prosecco or cava is perfect here. The garnish is pretty, but not necessary. I added Campari by the teaspoon, tasting till I liked it. Adding 1 teaspoon is already darker pink than the photo to my eye. Adding 2 teaspoons is nice and bitter for me, and a light rose color. My Campari-hating spouse couldn’t stand it it at this point, but I could barely taste it. And 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) tasted heavy to me and was dark pink and too syrupy. I also made this with a non-sparkling white, which was also good. Garnishing with 2 skewered raspberries added nothing except looks, but these are winter berries. An especially fragrant garnish would be worthwhile and might add something, maybe a citrus twist in winter or a very juicy strawberry or peach in summer, but if there’s nothing around that’s particularly delicious, skip it.
I enjoyed this Campari cocktail upon reuniting with my siblings on Siblings Day. It was such a fun and delicious way to celebrate on a beautiful spring day. Seasonal strawberries and refreshing mint were aesthetically appealing and fun to eat once we reached the bottoms of our glasses, before refilling for second—and third—rounds. We actually tried two variations of this drink. One as instructed and the other with Aperol instead of Campari. Most preferred the less bitter taste of the Aperol, but I liked the pungency of the Campari. This was very quick to whip up and took easily 5 minutes from start to finish. I settled on 4 ounces (1/2 cup) wine with 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) Campari/Aperol as the best ratio for the drink.
Originally published May 8, 2015