A light, herbal farewell to summer: Gin, Elderflower and Campari

by Terry B on September 6, 2017

Gin, elderflower liqueur, Campari, lemon juice and club soda make an easy-drinking, end-of-summer cocktail (that you just might drink year-round). Recipe below.

Gin, Elderflower and Campari

Gin plays a big role in our summer cocktail rotation. So does Campari and soda for Marion. And we always seem to have St-Germain elderflower liqueur around. So when I came across a cocktail recipe combining all of those, I knew we had to try our own version.

Gin is often most known for its distinctive “Christmas tree” flavor, delivered by juniper berries. But well-made gins contain many botanicals—herbs, spices, fruit peels and berries—that can create complex herbal tastes as well. The current gin in our cupboard, Vikre Boreal Spruce Gin from Duluth, Minnesota, is so aggressively herbal that it’s not much for sipping over ice. But in this cocktail, it earns its keep. Any botanicals-rich gin will do nicely.

St-Germain, made from fresh elderflower blossoms, adds a floral, lightly sweet note to many cocktails, including this one. Campari balances it out with its signature bitter bite. And finally, a little lemon juice and some club soda keep things summery and light.

I love learning new food and drink terms, even new-to-me ones. The one I came across researching this drink was low octane cocktails—drinks that, unlike martinis (for instance), go easy on the alcohol. With low octane cocktails, you can day drink without getting faced. Or maybe settle in on the back porch in the evening, contemplating summer shifting into fall.

Gin, Elderflower and Campari
Makes one cocktail

1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
1/2 ounce Campari
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
club soda
lemon peel garnish (optional)

Combine gin, elderflower liqueur, Campari and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker or tall mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill. Fill a highball glass with ice and strain the gin mixture into it. Top with club soda and stir to combine. Add the garnish and serve.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John/Kitchen Riffs September 6, 2017 at 8:26 am

Sounds like a wonderful drink. Love the color. But Campari makes any drink look (and taste!) good. This looks totally refreshing, and we all need drinks without a ton of booze in them from time to time. Thanks!

Dani H September 6, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Low octane cocktails — love that.

This sounds good. Thanks, Terry!

Anita September 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Sounds just to my taste!

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