Vincenzo Marianella, the beverage director at Fia in Santa Monica, California, credits the renaissance of the Negroni as the reason that newer generations of cocktail fans have cozied up to Campari. The bitter Italian liqueur is flavored with a secret combination of herbs, spices and fruit peels, and for years it was considered a polarizing ingredient.
“Believe it or not, Campari is a very flexible product. It all depends on how you balance the ingredients,” he says. Though it’s generally used as a modifier, taking a back seat to other booze like gin or bourbon, he says it can just as easily be a base, as in his Novara Sour, which contains two full ounces of the liqueur. “Campari used to be the bad boy in cocktails back in the day; either you loved it or hated it.” But now, he doesn’t have to convince people to try it.
The Novara Sour merges Campari with ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice, Creole bitters and egg white, the latter giving the drink a rich texture and silky mouthfeel. Once shaken and strained, the cocktail becomes a gorgeous deep-red color with a white halo on top, looking as good as it tastes. And because Campari has a moderate alcohol content—it clocks in at just 48 proof, or 24% ABV—this sour is the perfect pour when you want all the flavor without as much alcohol.
- 2 ounces Campari
- 3/4 ounce ginger syrup
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce organic pasteurized egg white
- 4 dashes The Bitter Truth Creole bitters
Add the Campari, ginger syrup, lemon juice, egg white and bitters into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Fine-strain into a cocktail glass or coupe.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.