Two days ago on Facebook, there was a thread where one bartender complained that, "Tonight a man told me, after ordering a Cosmo, that he 'truly hated' mine. And that it was 'undrinkable'." I commiserated and shared how someone once called my 3:1:1 Margarita at work the worst he had ever had. But the rest of the thread devolved into bashing the Cosmopolitan ranging from the drink itself to the people who order them as well as questioning their masculinity and class. It got me thinking about how the art form of a Daisy with a splash of tart and bitter cranberry juice could be elevated. My mind went straight for Fernet Branca for it works well in drinks containing triple sec and citrus such as the Ali-Frazier (which was inspired by the citrus-less Alcazer from the same book as the 1903-33 Cosmo). However, all that rosiness from the cranberry and brightness from the other ingredients would be drowned out by a sea of black or brown from the liqueur. But wait, what about Campari? It has worked well for drinks in Beta Cocktails, at the Anvil, and in my own experiments, so why not? I sent myself an email at 1:30 that day to remind myself to tinker with it at work during a slow moment over the next few days.
Camparipolitan (or Cosmopari?)Yesterday, I made a mini version to get tasting notes. The orange twist at first contributed a lot of bright orange oil notes, but as those oils were sipped away, the nose became more orange peel driven over time. The sip was tart lime and orange, and a different orangeness, a darker more bitter one from the Campari, came through on the swallow along with the cranberry flavors. Finally, the drink ended with a slightly tart and bitter finish. Overall, it was like a Cosmo made with some extra citrussy vodka with some additional bitter herbal complexity.
• 2 oz Campari
• 1 oz Triple Sec (Clement Creole Shrubb here)
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
• 1 pinch Salt
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. A home version of 1 1/2 : 3/4 : 3/4 : fat 1/4 : 1 pinch would work well too.
The Daisy itself is such a strong base of a drink. I even tinkered with it for a recent Mixology Monday with the Double Daisy where I hybridized the Margarita and the Sidecar. Indeed, it is a family of drink that still makes people very happy and has a classic and elegant history and feel to it.