Campari Craze: Enjoy The Aperitif In Horsefeather’s Cocktail

“The Mar Rosso has a hint of pineapple-Riesling simple syrup and Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro. The amaro includes very appealing notes of hibiscus and rose, and is a great substitute for the regular sweet vermouth that’s usually used in a Negroni,” Siebert explains.
The Mar Rosso

Photo Credit: Grace Sager

There is no spirit quite as recognizable as Campari. The classic Italian amaro has an unmistakable bright red color that’s instantly detectable for changing the hue of a cocktail. It also has a distinct and powerfully bitter taste. Perhaps the most iconic beverage that requires Campari as an ingredient is the Negroni. It’s a perennially popular drink in San Francisco—especially during the first week in June when the liquor brand hosts its annual (now international) charity event, Negroni Week. Traditionally the boozily bitter concoction is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari; bartenders and Negroni lovers are particular about the best types of gin and vermouth, but the Campari never changes.


Photo Credit: Deb Leal

However, during Negroni Week anything goes: mixologists and chefs are invited to make drinks and food items inspired by the historic cocktail. At the bakery Craftsman and Wolves, pastry chef William Werner made Negroni-glazed raspberry madeleines. The chef at Outer Richmond pizza joint, Fiorella, served a citrus and little gem salad with Campari vinaigrette.

Chef Chinchilla’s strawberry shortcake with Campari syrup alongside the Campari libation
Chef Chinchilla’s strawberry shortcake with Campari syrup alongside the Campari libation

Photo Credit: Grace Sager

At Horsefeather, the lively watering hole on Divisadero Street, chef Ryan Chinchilla offered a strawberry shortcake with Campari syrup. It happened to pair perfectly with barkeep Roxanne Siebert’s riff on the Negroni, Mar Rosso. Seibert describes it as a “delicate and fun twist on a classic fizz, with egg white and lemon.” It’s a lighter frothy take on the spirit-heavy beverage that is perfect for summer. So what are you waiting for? Why not pick up a bottle of Campari and whip up a batch of these modern Negronis? Cheers!

Mar Rosso

Created by Roxanne Siebert at Horsefeather

1.5 oz. Campari,
0.75 oz. Old Grove gin
0.75 oz. Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro
0.75 oz. House pineapple-Riesling syrup
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
5 thyme sprigs

Combine all the ingredients except the thyme in a cocktail shaker. Cover and dry shake vigorously. Add 4 thyme sprigs and fill with ice. Shake with ice. Fine strain into a Collins glass over ice. Garnish with the remaining thyme sprig.

Pineapple-Riesling Syrup:

3 cups Riesling 
3 cups pineapple juice
3 cups sugar

Bring wine to a rolling boil, then reduce to medium. Boil for 7 minutes. Add the pineapple juice and sugar, bring back to boil. Remove from heat. Pour over grilled pineapple (cored and cut into pieces), let sit for 24 hours, strain, and use. Combine all the ingredients in a small glass jar. Store in a cool dark place.