Cocktails

The End of the Campari Year

Back in 2011, I bought a bottle of Campari only to discover (with my eldest brother) how little I fancied it.  Its bitterness was a slap with truly impressive follow-through: lingering far longer than expected or desired, like unwelcome houseguests.

Paul and I pondered the bottle, 750 mL like most any other spirt, and wondered how long it would last when we didn’t dare use more than half an ounce at a time – barring the time I made a bowl of punch and added a whopping 4 ounces for color and piquancy.  We don’t often go in for aperitifs, and only rarely for digestifs.

Gin is like Mercury and Campari like Pluto, Paul remarked.  A bottle of gin could last as long as a few months, or go down the hatch in a particularly lively night, as swift to disappear as Mercury hastens about the sun.  Campari, consumed so much more slowly, has a lifespan of many gin-years.

How many, exactly?

Well.  I couldn’t rightly say.  A Campari year is at least 50, if not 72, gin years, but that’s only an estimate.  All I know for sure is that, nearly six years later, we finished the last bit of Campari last night with this funny little pink thing:

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2 oz gin (Aviation)
2 oz grapefruit juice
½ oz Campari
1 oz rhubarb syrup

Not sure what to call it, but I must say there’s something remarkably cohesive about those flavors and colors: bitter, but bright.  Just the thing for when the weather’s getting as warm as it has.

The (solar) years, meanwhile, have mellowed me a bit where Campari is concerned.  I’m now convinced that it’s a bit like olives: an acquired taste, best tried for the first time somewhere in Italy before dashing back Negronis every which way.

How long is your Campari year?

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Cocktails

The Echo Echo Flip

A full three weeks ago, my friend Katie and her husband sent me a box full of grapefruit.  Eighteen grapefruit, nestled in foam, to be quite precise.  When life gives you grapefruit, make grapefruit cocktails! read the label.

So make grapefruit cocktails we did.  Cecilia and I have been making Palomas and Greyhounds and other inventions, but still haven’t consumed them all.

Sunday night, having made chana masala and rajmah chawal for my Holy Week lunches, I had a cup or two of aquafaba left over.  This liquid from canned beans, which I used to pour down the drain, can be used in mixing flips or fizzes in place of egg or albumen…and, since Cecilia’s Lenten observations include a vegan diet, I figured this was the time to try it!

In a bid to use the grapefruit juice, here’s what I came up with:

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The Echo Echo Flip

2 oz gin (violet-infused Beefeater)
2.5 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz falernum syrup
2 tbsp aquafaba, whipped with 1 tbsp. sugar

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To keep the shaking to a minimum, I whipped the aquafaba in a stainless steel bowl for 1 minute before grabbing a spatula to scrape it into the shaker with everything else.  After 40 shakes, I strained my doubled recipe into these three glasses:

echo echo flip

Possibly a better name exists, but the Casper Fry restaurant in Spokane, WA seems to have created a gin/grapefruit/lemon/falernum concoction, with different proportions and sans any kind of foaming agent, and christened it the Echo Echo.

The Music Orange also has a similar flavor profile, and includes the egg white foam.  We may try adding bitters to switch it up tonight!