The Spirits #82: The Campari Spritz
~ Culinary Bee Collaboration Edition! ~ Last of the Summer Bruschetta ~ The OG Spritz ~ Love, I woke in an empty flat to a bad new government ~
~ THE CAMPARI SPRITZ ~
(a.k.a. The Spritz)
100ml dry white wine
25ml fizzy water
You can make this in a wine glass or an Old Fashioned glass, according to temperament and resources. Either way, fill the vessel halfway with ice, pour in all the ingredients and stir. It should be garnished with citrus (lemon or orange) and hopefully a plump green olive on a stick.
Some Spritz notes:
1. “That’s a better picture than you usually trouble yourself with, Godwin!” Well, it comes courtesy of the recipe developer and food photographer Annie Mae Herring, aka The Culinary Bee - who has come up with a delicious bruschetta recipe just for you below. I began following Annie on Instagram after a cocktail-related exchange a few months back - and have since found myself wanting to eat and/or drink pretty much everything she posts. And so, after more cocktail-related exchanges, we decided a little collaboration would be in order. You can follow her here - though don’t blame me if you find yourself attempting to eat your phone.
2. The recipe itself comes c/o Il Caffe Rosso, a student bar on the Campo Santa Margherita in Venice, where my wife and I spent a rainy few days in what, 2007, 2008? A significant trip for me as it was my first taste of Campari. I remember sitting in that bar, drinking Spritzes out of plastic cups, thinking how beautiful all the students spilling out of the caféwere, and wondering if their delightful scarlet drink could ever catch on in England. The answer was, sort of. The restaurateur Russell Norman also happened upon this establishment and used this recipe in his highly influential Polpo restaurants. But it would be the inferior Aperol Spritz that swept all before it, not the original Spritz, which was always made with Campari.
3. Please note, this doesn’t contain prosecco but, rather, dry white wine, Soave to be accurate, which is produced in the Veneto region. Prosecco works OK actually, but be warned: a Spritz can be ruined by both overly acidic wines (e.g. those mysteriously popular lemony sauvignon blancs) and overly oaked wines (e.g. Australian chardonnay). Soave has just the right herby, peachy, salty notes - but pinot grigio, muscadet, gruner veltliner and unoaked chardonnays can work well too.
4. It’s actually quite easy to get this drink wrong (see note 3 above). But when you get it right it is, to my mind the greatest of the aperitivi: futurist Campari and ancient wine, an ideal balance of late-summer nostalgia, looking forwards with a wistful glance behind. Onwards… Wait!
AND welcome back! Well! How was everyone’s summers? I am aware, a large quantity of events have accumulated since we last sat down here together. A new Government. A new Head of State. The Queue. And a week’s holiday contemplating the deep greens of Lake Como, drinking Campari Spritzes, swimming an idle breaststroke and having a really nice time.
Too much to catch up on in one post. So let’s eat.
🖊️I am Richard Godwin.
🧋My instructions for sugar syrup, ice, grenadine, orgeat, etc are here.
🧑🏫 My 10 RULES FOR MAKING COCKTAILS are here.
⚗️ My bottle recommendations are here.
📃 The full A-Z recipe archive is here.
➡️ Please find a round up of organisations helping Ukrainians here.
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A Culinary Collaboration
“Hello, my name's is Annie Mae and I'm a recipe developer & food stylist originally from London. I'm currently living & renovating a house in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I started my Instagram (@theculinarybee) four years ago as a place to share my recipes, which has now turned into my full time career. I specialise in baking, dinner party style meals and glorious cocktails. It's been wonderful teaming up with Richard for this piece and I hope you all enjoy.”
~ LAST OF THE SUMMER FRUIT BRUSCHETTA ~
Late Summer has to be one of the most bountiful seasons for incredible produce. I wanted to champion three of my favourite late summer fruits in the form of a sweet and salty bruschetta - perfect to snack on alongside a Campari Spritz .
This can easily be whipped up in under 5 minutes, and the combinations are endless. Plums would also work well if you are unable to find peaches, along with blackberries, pears and even raspberries.
3 slices of Sourdough, toasted
50ml Peppery Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Fat Garlic Clove
6 Slices of Parma Ham or Speck
1 Peach, 1 Fig, 3 or 4 Cherries, sliced
Mint to garnish
Pinch of Flaked Salt and Black Pepper
Toast your slices of sourdough until golden brown. Halve your garlic clove and rub on one side of the toast, then drizzle on a little olive oil.
Generously spread your gorgonzola onto the toast, and top with two slices of parma ham. Top each toast with slices of your chosen fruits, and drizzle with a little extra olive oil and a balsamic vinegar.
Garnish with a little mint & salt and pepper, serve immediately.
I am leaning into Autumn, when everything suddenly sounds so much richer. And so, a slightly bittersweet playlist of songs that I find myself turning to at this time of year.
WHAT I’VE BEEN WRITING
There’s a fair bit to catch up on, but you might like to read my interviews with Natalie Portman (ES Magazine) and Joely Richardson (YOU Magazine) and my medium-read on eggs (Guardian Weekend).
Also: three dispatches from my Modern Life column in which I explain Mercury Retrograde, Quiet Quitting, and Skimpflation for the benefit of Oldie readers.
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING
Emily Berry’s poem, Bad New Government, (Poetry Society)
And this magnificent old piece about Richard Rogers’s sock drawer (New Yorker)
I’m aware I’ve messed you around with this one but shall we try again? Now that I am getting back into the swing of things: Gin, cucumber, mint, rosewater, Angostura, lime, sugar.
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My favourite one yet, Richard. It’s a bit of me, that Spritz. Thanks for the weekly boost, as always.
Thank you for the tips. I’m an enthusiast of that drink.