Campari has a distinctive bitter orange flavor that, for many, is a bit of an acquired taste. I have been known to compare it to bitter dark chocolate, which also sometimes takes people a few bites to get to appreciate. I also think that Campari is a wonderful liqueur to infuse with other fruits, since orange goes so well with so many flavors. Last year, I made many batches of Strawberry-Infused Campari and I have spent quite a lot of time since then experimenting with other flavors.
The result of all this trial and error is this Nectarine-Infused Campari. Nectarines bring in a lovely sweetness and a floral quality that tempers the bitterness of the liqueur while adding to its flavor. The difference might seem subtle as you’re tasting the infused Campari at first, but you can taste how much flavor it brings to the liqueur once you use it in a cocktail, like this Nectarine Negroni.
The negroni is made with equal parts of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth. You’ll definitely get to taste a bit of stone fruit sweetness and the light floral flavors of a ripe nectarine when it’s made with this infused Campari. Adding a slice of fresh nectarine to the top of the cocktail as a garnish will also highlight the flavors of the drink by adding to the overall aroma as you sip. A wide variety of gins will work in this recipe, so you can use anything you have. Hendricks and Aviation are already known to have floral notes, which only add to the overall flavor profile of the cocktail, while I have been reaching for Beefeater 24 and Sipsmith lately.
Tl;dr? It tastes great and is well worth adding to your summer cocktail rotation, so pick up some nectarines and a bottle of Campari and get infusing!
1 oz your favorite Gin
1 oz Nectarine-Infused Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
In a mixing glass, combine gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Fill the glass with ice and stir to chill, about 20-30 seconds. Strain over ice (preferably a large ice cube) in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of ripe nectarine.
3 medium fresh nectarines (approx 1 – 1 1/2 cups diced)
Remove the pits and cut nectarines into small, 1/4-inch dice. You do not need to remove the skin. In a medium-sized container, combine fruit and Campari. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours to infuse.
Strain out the berries using a very fine sieve or a cheesecloth, then refrigerate the Campari until ready to use.
Makes about 8 oz.