5 Clever Ways To Cook With Campari

best ways to cook with Campari

Max Pixel

A bottle of Campari, one of the most well-known aperitifs, is a core ingredient in a Negroni and a ton of other bitter cocktails, but that’s not all it’s capable of flavoring. The cherry-red liquor is an infusion of herbs and fruit into alcohol and water. Characterized by its dark red color, the pre-dinner Italian liqueur starts out with a sweet taste and has a bitter aftertaste with dominant orange and earthy flavors. When you have a bottle of Campari in your cabinet that you know you won’t use on cocktails alone, here are five ways to cook with it.

1. Campari-Poached Pears

Pears and liqueur go together like peanut butter and jelly. The herb-based drink adds a pop of color and a distinctive orange flavor to the pears. Here’s a recipe for Campari-poached pears with raspberry sauce and fresh mint leaves. Anytime you’re poaching pears in a liqueur, or any liquid for that matter, you’ll want to leave yourself about five to six hours for the pears to cool in the fridge and become juicy.

2. Campari Frosting

A post shared by Picadas Cape Town (@picadascpt) on

Perfect for a bachelorette party or any birthday party where the guest of honor loves a good pregame, you can make a lemon cake with Campari frosting. This lemon layer cake with Campari-spiked frosting also has limoncello baked into the cake and the frosting. It’s basically a cocktail lover’s dream cake. The Campari buttercream is a light and fluffy combination of butter, powdered sugar, milk, limoncello and Campari. All of the cream will help to balance out the bitter aftertaste of the Campari so you can focus more on those earthy and orange flavors.

3. Ice Pops

Make your own boozy ice pops with Campari and citrus. For a grapefruit and Campari ice pop, trying this recipe that’s made with water, sugar, grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest and Campari. You could also go the Campari and pomegranate route with unsweetened pomegranate juice and fresh lemon juice. You’ll want to give yourself a day to prepare since these pops need to go into the freezer for at least eight hours.

4. Negroni Marinade

A post shared by @JamesMacMoran (@chefmacmoran) on

For any kind of citrus marinade that you might want for tacos, shrimp, short ribs, pulled pork or anything in between, Campari will add a whole new layer of flavor to the marinade. Along with Campari, you could add blood oranges or grapefruit. Here’s a citrus marinade with scallions, cilantro, cloves, zest and citrus juice that would pair well with Campari. After it’s cooked, you won’t be able to taste the bitterness or the alcohol, so you’ll get to focus solely on the herbal and citrus flavor.

5. Campari-Soaked Watermelon Cubes

Right next to pears, watermelon is one of the best fruits for soaking up liqueur. For a boozy and fruity summer treat, try soaking your cubed watermelon in Campari. This two-ingredient recipe is crazy simple and it’ll make the perfect snack to hand out at the next pool party or beach day. Since the aperitif has a natural herby factor, you can top your soaked watermelon with some fresh mint for a cool contrast.


15 Gin Cocktails That’ll Put Your Plain, Old Tonic Water To Shame

7 Interesting Ways You Can Put Sake In Your Cocktails 

11 Whiskey-Infused Foods Any Brown Spirit Lover Will Die For