A twist on Campari, finishing the classic liquid in ex-bourbon barrels, has been released as a limited edition, giving selected bartenders a chance to experiment with it in cocktails.
Inspired by the trend for barrel-aged spirits, Campari Cask Tales has been created by the company’s herbalist and master blender, Bruno Malavasi.
The barrel finishing smooths bitter notes with fruity, sweet and creamy tones, providing delicate oaky smokiness to Campari’s recipe of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit. It remains at 25% ABV.
To celebrate the launch, key bartenders from around the world have been invited to design innovative cocktails using Campari Cask Tales and put them on their bars’ menus for a limited period.
These creations will be included in a Campari Cask Tales Cocktail Book which will also include an introduction to the history and legacy of Campari.
It is being created to celebrate 150 years since the birth of Davide Campari, the son of founder Gaspare Campari. In the early 20th century, he transformed the business and the brand through more of a focus on the signature bitter liqueur.
One of the participating bartenders, Chris Hughes from Mele e Pere in Soho in London, said: “It is no secret that Campari has long been a bartenders’ favourite, inspiring innovation and creativity. The release of the new Campari Cask Tales is a welcome aged twist on the classic Campari liquid and I have really enjoyed experimenting with this new version.
“Being barrel-aged adds a richness and sweetness, which perfectly complements a range of spirits and ingredients and our final cocktail, The Hourglass, is a heady mix of Campari Cask Tales, Cinzano Blanco, Averna, Balvenie DoubleWood with a grapefruit peel and rosemary garnish. Think a nod to a Boulevardier that brings out the smokiness of the cask-aged Campari – a true tribute to Campari’s creative heritage.”
Bruno experimented with a range of casks to find the ideal environment to age and flavour the liqueur before settling on the ex-bourbon barrels. “Having worked at Campari Group for over 20 years, Davide Campari is a figure to admire for his commitment and innovation,” he said. “I knew that I had to pay homage to the man who fundamentally inspired my craft.
“Davide’s intuitive way of connecting with the future inspired me to go out and explore the latest sensory experiences, seeing how to blend art forms and merge the future with the past. Bitter, but now slightly fruity; sweet, but just a little smoky. A unique expression has been created that keeps the iconic flavour of the original Campari.”
Andrea Neri, managing director for Italian icons and gin at Campari Group, added: “We hope through the Campari Cask Tales Cocktail Book, we will continue to tell inspirational stories whilst showing that we’ve always understood the deep connection between expression and experimentation, for art happens when we distil experience into the act of creation.”