Day 47: Camillo by the Bay


"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused." -Rainer Maria Rilke


Welcome back to our ongoing daily cocktail journey. It's day 47, and I wanted to pull one of my favorites out of the vault today, because it's also a very special day here in "shaker-town." In this day in 1983, a child came into this world kicking and screaming, and you've been forced to look at his nerdy cocktail photos ever since.


That's right, today is my birthday, and just like many others, I don't have the option of celebrating with friends in my usual tropical fashion. What's the alternative? Well in true shaker-form, I like to enjoy the downtime nerding-out over a little cocktail history. Come with me, if you'd like, to Florence, somewhere between 1912 and 1920, where another tasty treat was born.


Most of us "booze-geeks" are familiar with the original definition of the word cocktail. As it was printed in 1806, "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirit of any kind, sugar water, and bitters." Heck, I even have it tattooed on my right arm. The word cocktail itself became a catch-all term for all alcoholic drinks, sometime in the 1900s. It's for this very reason, thirsty readers, each drink needed it's own unique name.


Sometime, in the time frame I mentioned earlier, a man namedCamillo Negroni sat at the Cafe Casoni bar in Florence. Negroni had returned from his time in America, where he was a cowboy, gambler, and overall jack-of-all-trades. Usually a drinker of Americanos (a mixture of vermouth, bitter aperitivo, soda water, and ice), he asked Fosco Scarcelli, a bartender at the Casoni, to replace the soda water with gin, making a stronger, more fortified drink. Becoming his usual cocktail order, the other bar patrons began to catch on, ordering their Americanos "the way Negroni drinks them." The worlds most sophisticated cocktail was born.


Now I don't imbibe anymore, but when I did, the Negroni was a fairly regular order for me, only I preferred mine with rum. New York bartender, Joaquín Simó popularized this style of Negroni with his Kingston Negroni, using Smith & Cross rum. As much as I loved these spirit-heavy, aperitivo style drinks, I always found them to be a tad dangerous. A cocktail with this much alcohol, which tastes this good, can really put an end to a fun evening entirely too soon. With that in mind, I created a tropical punch, hitting on some of my favorite notes of the Kingston Negroni, while maintaining a refreshing tropical vibe. Perhaps this would hit the right notes for Camillo Negroni himself, had he ever made it to the Caribbean.


Camillo by the Bay

1oz Multi-Island White Rum (I like the Hidden Harbor 100 proof from Maggie's Farm.)

.75oz Aged Jamaican Rum (Appleton Estate Reserve Blend)

.5oz Pineapple Campari

1oz Dry Rosé Wine

.5oz Passion Fruit Syrup

.5oz Hibiscus Syrup

.25oz Lemon Juice

.25oz Lime Juice


Double Old Fashioned Glass

Shake and strain over large ice cube.

Garnish with pineapple fronds, orange peel, and parasol.


Pineapple Campari

Half of one fresh pineapple.

750ml Campari

Cut pineapple into 1 inch cubes.

Combine with Campari, cover, and allow to macerate 24 hours.

Strain and serve.

I might not be able to sit on a beach or even a tiki bar this birthday, but I'm still going to enjoy myself likeit's the last day of vacation. Thanks again for joining me on this ride. Writing about these drinks, and sharing these recipes, has kept me staying positive these 47 days. Tomorrow is Sunday after all, so you know the kitch' will be strong with this one. Do me a favor. Make an extra one today, since I can't be there to do it for you. Until then, just keep shaking.

.



Have a topic you'd like to see covered? Reach out.