Campari negroni americano tonic cocktails
Campari and Tonics, as made by me, on top of my vintage cocktail cabinet at home.
Cut glass tumblers: John Lewis. Ice Bucket: mine was a present, but check these out

I make no apologies for re-running this post from last year: I adore Campari and it’s perfect for this time of year, whether you are welcoming guests over for a turkey leftover feast, or a chic New Year’s do.

The working title for my cookbook was Notes from a Modern Hostess, because one of my huge loves is having people round for food, drinks and general fun, away from the everyday hamster wheel of life, and because I think I have some great ideas for streamlining the process.

One of the things I say in my book is that when you are having people over the most important thing is to get a drink in their hands moments after they have walked through the door. Then, if you are running late, or the pie in the oven just won’t hurry up and brown, your guests will feel looked after, and can relax whilst you run around.

Equally, I don’t think it takes any more time to make things look good: it’s no more effort to use a pretty glass than an ugly one, and I take great pleasure in opening my mid-century cocktail cabinet, and surveying the array of glasses, ice buckets and bar tools stored within. Some I have bought and some I have collected myself – I love the modern way of mixing up, say, IKEA and West Elm, with finds from Ebay, garage sales, antique shops and the like.

I try not to over complicate my aperitifs either. I’ve always loved the simplicity and speed in serving Campari and Tonics with a slice of orange, and recently I’ve discovered how easy it is to make delicious Americanos and Negronis at home (I’ve been watching the barmen at Soho House like hawks to pick up tips) to the point where I can now make them by eye. The refreshing bitter and sweet taste of Campari is the perfect forerunner to supper, when you don’t want anything too sickly to fur up your palate.

Campari Tonic
Simplicity is often the key to the best results. And this drink proves the point. All it takes is a touch of tonic water to make an irresistible, thirst-quenching cocktail.
1 part (1.25oz, 3,75cl) Campari
3 parts tonic water
Build the drink in a juice glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Created in 1933, Campari and red vermouth met ice and soda to create the famous Americano. A legend says that the drink was given the nickname of Primo Carnera, the first Italian to win the heavyweight boxing title, in New York.
1 part (1oz) Campari
1 part (1oz) red vermouth (we like Cinzano Rosso)
Splash of soda water
Pour the ingredients directly in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice-cubes, add a splash of soda water and garnish with an orange slice and lemon peel.

Legend has it that on his return from England in 1919, Count Camillo Negroni asked his favourite bar to prepare his usual Americano with seven drops of gin instead of soda. A legend was born and still continues strong today as one of the most famous Italian cocktails in the world.
1 part (1oz) Campari
1 part (1oz) Gin
1 part (1oz) red vermouth
1 slice of orange
Pour all ingredients directly into a rock glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of orange.


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Living in Italy I have my own take on a Negroni that makes it a slightly longer drink with, assuming you want it, a little less kick. Keep all the other ingredients as listed above but reduce the amount of gin by perhaps half, shake in cocktail shaker, pour into glass and top up with Prosecco. (You can also refill glass with Prosecco as it goes down.) Anyone heading this way (Tuscany) should try the Negroni at Rivoire in Florence where they are served with an accompanying Negroni jelly that has to be tasted to be believed. No matter what your capacity for alcohol, you will probably only require one!


Campari tonic is my favorite! Time to move on next, Americano!


This comes just in time for me, I’m hosting people this week and love to use my fancy glasses. I think I’ll go with the Campari one! Thanks for the inspo Sasha!

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