It surprises me that I’m writing a post about a recipe for a Campari Margarita. It surprises me because, in fact, it’s the only drink with Campari that I’ve enjoyed.
I’m sure some of you are in the same boat as we are, with a mostly full bottle of Campari sitting around your house. You don’t enjoy it so you don’t drink it, and you’re not sure who you can get to take it off your hands.
This recipe is for you.
Some time ago, perhaps last year, I decided I wanted to diversify cocktail options in our household. So I bought a bottle of Campari, an Italian apertif. I buy small bottles of new things to try whenever possible, but alas, Campari only came in one size – a full 750ml. I brought the bottle of the liquor home. I didn’t know how it would taste, but I made us a cocktail.
We didn’t like it.
What Is Campari, and What Can You Make with It?
Campari is bitter. I still can’t tell you what the flavor is – perhaps a bitter citrus or grapefruit? I wanted to like it. I searched for other cocktails to make with a nearly full bottle. Here’s what we tried:
- A Negroni is probably what we originally tried, with gin, sweet (red) vermouth, and Campari
- Smitten Kitchen’s Rum Campari Punch, which I think we would have really enjoyed had we liked the flavor of Campari
- Boulevardiers, the Negroni’s bourbon cousin
- The Jasmine, which indeed tasted like grapefruit, and which I didn’t necessarily mind but wasn’t in the mood for often
After lots of experimentation, I still had three quarters of a bottle of the liquor. Nothing takes that much Campari.
What Can You Make with Campari if You Don’t Like It? A Campari Margarita
One day I made a margarita and wondered how it would taste if I added a little Campari to it. Tequila’s already a little bitter; maybe it would blend in.
And indeed it did. You can still taste the Campari in the margarita, but it belongs there. It doesn’t take much of the apertif, but what it does call for is plenty.
In addition to Campari, this cocktail takes tequila, triple sec, lime juice (fresh is best, of course, but I consider bottled juice fine in the spur of the moment), and agave syrup or simple syrup. You can use honey or sugar if necessary; I’ve included details in the recipe notes.
There are a lot of Campari Margarita recipes out there. This one is specifically for those of you who don’t like Campari very much. Perhaps it’s growing on us (although I seriously doubt it), but here’s a cocktail made with Campari that we can actually enjoy.
Like this recipe or have a question? Rate it or leave a comment below!
In the past:
Two Years Ago: Carrot Soup with Sesame and Chickpeas
Three Years Ago: Vegan Orange Cupcakes
Four Years Ago: Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Puddle Cookies
A Campari Margarita recipe made specifically for those who don't like Campari that much but are stuck with a bottle of it! Campari blends into a margarita well; it belongs there. This is the best way to work your way through a bottle of Campari.
- 3 ounces white tequila (6 tablespoons)
- 1.5 ounces triple sec (3 tablespoons)
- 1.5 ounces lime juice (3 tablespoons)
- 1 ounce Campari (2 tablespoons)
- 0.5 ounce agave syrup or simple syrup (2 teaspoons) (to taste)
- sugar (optional; to rim the glass)
Optional: If you'd like a pretty sugar rim, rub a slice of a lemon, lime, or orange along the rim of the glass. (This can be after you juice limes; you just want a damp edge.) Roll dampened rim in a saucer of sugar. (You can use salt if you like salt on margaritas.)
Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into two glasses and serve.
There are lots of Campari Margarita recipes out there. This one is specifically a guideline for those people who don't like it in other cocktails.
You can use the same amount of honey in this cocktail, but you should dissolve it in room temperature liquids before adding ice to the shaker.
In a pinch you can dissolve a half tablespoon of sugar into the liquid if you don't have agave syrup, simple syrup, or honey. Dissolve well so the cocktail isn't gritty.