Usually, the word spritzer is enough to scare me away from a drink. It’s a word usually accompanied by some combination of the words white wine and cranberry/rasberry/strawberry and sometimes even vodka. All of which are things pretty low on my list of drinks of choice. I’ll drink a stout or a red ale over a merlot any day. And if it’s going to be a mixed drink, it’ll probably involve whiskey, won’t get any sweeter than ginger ale and definitely won’t be pink with an umbrella and a sugar-rimmed glass. My taste in drinks leans much more heavily towards the bitter and sometimes unusual. Basically, I’m a dude when it comes to drinks.
Although bright red, this drink is not fruity or sweet or one of those that makes you go, “Is there alcohol in that?”. It’s bitter and strong and complex and boozy. The IPA (my favorite of all) is of course bitter, but so is Campari, in a different way. Yes, we’re mixing bitter on bitter here, with nothing to balance it, but it works. It’s great. Trust me.
I got this recipe from The Kitchn, which calls it a summer cocktail. It was indeed refreshing on a 100-degree July day, but I think it’s a perfect winter cocktail too. This isn’t your goes-down-easy summer shandy. Not that it’s hard to get down (totally isn’t) but it does take a little getting used to and a bit more work to enjoy (don’t worry, it’s worth it), and would be a great way to kick-start your getting-out-of-your-comfort-zone New Year’s resolution before the clock strikes midnight.
Campari + IPA Spritzer
Recipe from The Kitchn
Makes 1 (Don’t be fooled by the pictures. I made this for myself a couple days after moving to a new town and since I had to use the whole bottle of beer I went ahead and doubled it…it was kind of a lot. The recipe is plenty for one.)
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) campari
1/2 bottle (6 ounces) IPA
lemon twist for garnish (optional)
Fill a glass with ice (I know your beer is cold, but you definitely want the ice) and add the campari. Slowly pour the beer over it. If using lemon, squeeze the peel over the drink to release its oils, and rub the peel around the rim of the glass. Leave the lemon peel in the glass and serve.