Campari grapefruit punch is my idea of the perfect sit-and-watch-the-world-go-by drink. It’s also rather elegant.
Plus it’s made with Campari, one of my favorite spirits. Made from a secret recipe, Campari is a combination of bitter herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit in alcohol and water. It definitely has a grapefruit tinge, but what else is in it, I could not say. The overall taste is slightly bitter, in a good way.
I drink it straight, on the rocks, and in cocktails. I’ve tried it with blood oranges and Prosecco, as an ingredient in a Negroni and now in this Campari grapefruit punch. Actually it’s a punch base, which you can drink on its own, over ice with seltzer, or as the citrus component in a radler.
My daughter Eleanor has wonderful taste in friends. I enjoy meeting them when she’s around and even, sometimes, when she’s not.
Recently my beloved and I were in Seattle where we spent a delightful day with her longtime friend, Christina. She is now a certified cicerone. I learned that is beer professional designation, basically the beer equivalent of a sommelier.
Christina took us to two fabulous bars. At the second one, No Anchor, (where she works), we had amazing food as well as drinks. My enjoyment was not just in the eating and drinking, but also in her explanations of how to make the food and drink that we were enjoying. Most of their food is so intricate that I’ll never try it at home.
But when she heard that I love Campari, I struck gold. Christina described a Campari grapefruit punch the bar uses as the citrus base for a radler. Although I didn’t try to make the oleo saccharum as they do at the bar (with a vacuum sealer), I followed the proportions she gave me. And all I can say is wow!
It’s a perfect punch for Labor Day. And if it’s a particularly warm day, pair it with a light-colored, hoppy beer such as a Pilsner, and you’ll get cooling drink known as a radler or a shandy. For the radler proportions, try something between 50%-50% (beer-to-punch) to 65%-35%.
Campari Grapefruit Punch Base
This tart punch is great on its own, on the rocks with seltzer, or as a base for a radler.
- 1-1/3 cups fresh grapefruit juice From 1-2 grapefruit
- 3 tablespoons Campari This is just about a 1-1/2 ounce shot.
- 3 tablespoons grapefruit oleo saccharum Made from the zest of two grapefruit.
- kosher salt
- seltzer Optional
Mix the grapefruit juice, Campari and oleo saccarum together. Pour into glasses (over ice if desired.)
If using seltzer, add it. Then let each person sprinkle in salt to taste, or add one small pinch to each glass.