Strawberry campari spritz with homemade strawberry syrup

By Camille Arcese
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I love aperitivo hour – it’s this magical time of day, nestled somewhere between work and dinner in Italy where people are encouraged to gather and enjoy a cocktail together. Traditionally the cocktails served are meant “to open” the stomach/whet the appetite before a meal, and for me that means a cocktail that’s light on the palate with a slight bitter edge. Enter Campari, the herby, bitter orange Italian spirit that for just screams “aperitivo” time, in my opinion. I designed this cocktail recipe so that it could be something special you reach for in a pinch to impress your people (or yourself, quite frankly). The homemade strawberry syrup is the key to balancing and highlighting the flavour of the Campari – it comes together in minutes and keeps in the fridge for at least a couple weeks. As this recipe requires a splash or two of prosecco per serving, I highly recommend one of those bottle stoppers designed especially for bottles of bubbly – it’ll allow you to pour what you need and maintain the carbonation of the balance. Cin cin!

YIELDS
1 COCKTAIL

Ingredients

Strawberry syrup:

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped (sub thawed frozen if needed, and add the juices that render in the thawing process too)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Cocktail"

  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 1-1/2 strawberry syrup
  • 2 ounces prosecco
  • 1 splash sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Fresh strawberry and basil leaf, to garnish each glass

Directions

Strawberry syrup:

  1. Add strawberries, water, and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes until berries are super soft and syrup is slightly thickened.

Cocktail:

  1. Add a handful of ice to a stemmed or stemless wine glass (or glass of your choice).
  2. Add Campari, strawberry syrup, prosecco, and sparkling water to the glass. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with a strawberry and a basil leaf and enjoy.

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