Bitter is beautiful, the Italians know this far better than we sugar-addled Americans, and hence Campari - the deeply bitter/citrusy booze with a long secret history (it's said only one person knows the entire recipe).
Campari's most famous drink is the Negroni - deceptively simple and bitter as hell - it rewards only those that earn it. Like a big hoppy IPA you'll likely hate it at first, but then slowly find yourself craving that sharp citrus bite. I dare say it might be my favorite cocktail (at least this week) but something about it being served 'up' didn't do it for me texturally. Bitter sour drinks really click for me when there's some CO2 involved...so out comes the carbonator...
I really thought hard about carbonating an equal ratio of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari together, but CO2 doesn't play nice with syrups or particulates during the carbonation process. So, I carbonated 500ml of frozen gin as much as I thought the bottle could handle - booze acts very strange during carbonation, it just sounds and looks dangerous (although I'm sure it's not).
Anyway, on to the recipe:
A traditional Negroni uses an equal ratio of all three ingredients, but I found doubling up on the gin adds more texture and fits this variation a bit better.
2. Stir 1oz high quality sweet vermouth (I used Noilly Prat) and 1oz Campari in ice for ~30sec
3. Strain vermouth and Campari into serving glass (champagne flutes help keep the carbonation alive, and look how damn pretty it is!)
4. Pour 2oz very cold carbonated gin into serving glass
5. Flame orange oil onto the surface of the cocktail (hold a lit match directly over the glass and squeeze an orange peel 2in above the flame so the oil caramelizes on it's way into the drink, you'll see the flame flicker and notice an oil slick on the surface...easier than it sounds, promise!)
6. Drop in orange peel, stir gently and enjoy
With it's smooth velvety-fine bubbles I can't stop drinking these - dangerously addictive. Even if you don't have a carbonation machine you owe it to your senses to embrace the love of the bitter Negroni.