It’s a big thing actually, because as far as I know this is the first time in ages that a variation on the original recipe is produced. Also it’s rather an exclusive thing, because there’s only six bottles of it in Belgium and will be released in a very limited amount only at airports. So if you ever wanted to make that killer Boulvardier or Negroni, you better pay attention.
It is called Campari Cask Tales and attentive readers might have deduced correctly from this that it is aged on a cask.
It hasn’t aged for long. Just ever so slightly to make a difference. After all, why change a winning formula completely. This child was brought to life by Herbalist and Master Blender Bruno Malavasi, who created it as an homage to Davide Campari (born exactly 150 years ago).
Bruno himself says: “I’m so in love with the profile of Campari that I cannot imagine changing it to something completely different.” And we agree, because, you know, it wouldn’t be Campari anymore.
It took him and his team 18 months to find the ultimate twist on Campari that was subtle but impactful. Bitter, but now slightly fruity. Sweet, but just a little bit smoky. Some among you might have guessed it already: it has aged on bourbon barrels. And it creates a very subtle sweet smokey maple touch combined with the familiar herbal bitterness of Campari.
So let us be straight about it. The difference between Campari and Campari Cask Tales is very, very subtle. You might even catch yourself thinking: ‘why did they bother making this in the first place?’ Well, add an ice cube and let it sit for some minutes while you read through Bruno Malavasi’s notes: it’s a tribute to Davide and you can’t alter the original formula. I mean, that’s not the easiest task in the world is it? And after a while you notice, while the ice cube is melting, that the smokiness becomes more prominent and very pleasant.
Now, considering the subtlety and homage, we strongly believe that you should drink it in the same way. So if you want to drink it in a cocktail, don’t over do it! So no 16 ingredients of which 11 are overly produced or tinkered with and at least 7 are (badly) home made. We honestly don’t think that is the way do drink this. I mean it’s an homage to Davide Campari, not Jackson Pollock. Actually, just add ice cubes and soda, garnish with half an orange wheel and maybe an olive and enjoy! And drink it while the weather is hot and the sun is shining, while you’re in your garden enjoying the first spring heat.
Or you can pay homage to your own (grand)parents and make them a twist on the very well-known Campari Orange!
Campari Orange Cobbler:
Fill a shaker with ice cubes and add at least 5cl of Campari. Cut a thick orange wheel into chunks and add it to the shaker. If you want to make it perfect add half a bar-spoon of Black Treacle Honey from Madeira.
Shake with all might and passion for 10 seconds.
Fine strain in a Highball glass filled with ice cubes. Optionally top up with a little bit of soda.
Garnish with half an orange wheel.
Campari Cask Tales will be available in limited amount at airports in April.