Happy March, loves! We’re already a quarter of the way through 2016. After some personal shake ups at the beginning of the year, the sun is out and starting to shine. Today I’m celebrating new beginnings with a spirited grapefruit and sparkling wine cocktail, Bittersweet Me.
The name hearkens back to a 2006 REM song from New Adventures In Hi-Fi, one of my favorite albums of all time. I was 15 when the album came out in September 1996 and I would have been living in the Netherlands at the time. Bittersweet Me was the album’s second single and managed to express the restlessness I felt during that period in my life.
Though I’m continuing to navigate major change, there are many things to celebrate. I’ve been radio silent as I started a new job last week at a large PR firm, known for its excellent work and exceptional ethics. I’ll be working in public affairs to raise awareness about important health care and veteran’s issues.
The Bittersweet Me cocktail is a refreshing, lively blend of sweet and bitter elements. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is shaken with amaro and Campari, and then finished with a float of sparkling wine. Ruby red Campari is a bitter Italian liqueur made from an infusion of herbs and plants, including chinotto. In the Bittersweet Me, I’ve combined Campari with the grappa-based Amaro Nonino, infused with gentian root, saffron, rhubarb, tamarind and galangal, among other flavors. If Amaro Nonino isn’t available, use your favorite amaro, such as Fernet Branca or Cynar.
A float of sparkling wine or Italian Prosecco adds a touch of bubbly lightness to the otherwise semisweet libation. And its deep, convivial pink hue makes it a natural choice for a spring brunch, Easter lunch or Mother’s Day celebration.
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce Campari
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce amaro
- 2 ounces sparkling wine or Prosecco (Brut or semi-dry recommended)
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour in grapefruit juice, Campari, simple syrup and amaro. Shake until chilled, about 20 seconds.
- Strain into a martini or coupe glass and top with sparkling wine or Prosecco. Serve immediately.
In the mood for more Campari cocktails? Check out my Smoky Mezcal Negroni and the Scorched Earth cocktail.