Me: Hey, J. and M. [our favorite married-couple-with-new-baby-in-Montreal friends] invited us over on Mother’s Day afternoon for cocktails. J.’s mother and grandmother are in town. J. says her mother and I will get along because we’re both drinkers.
The PhoBlograpHusband: Wait — for cocktails?! [J. doesn't drink; M. will drink beer but only because that's the law in Canada.]
Me: I know, right? J. even emailed me their list of what booze they’ve got in the house and, omg, it’s sooo “we never drink hard liquor.” It’s, like, gin, vodka, Jack Daniel’s, a little bit of dry vermouth, OJ.
PHB: We should bring our own stash over.
Me: Totes. Let’s bring over bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters for Manhattans.
PHB: We should bring over Campari, too, ‘cuz then with their gin and our sweet vermouth we could also do Negronis.
Me: Ooh, Negronis!
[Cut to: M. & J.'s apartment. The PhoBlograpHusband makes a Negroni for J.'s grandmother but, being an all-alcohol cocktail, it's too much of the hard stuff for her. PHB goes back to the drawing board, re-emerges with something the color of a Kodachrome sunset.]
Me: What. Is. That?! That looks lovely! Can I taste it? [Tries to steal J.'s grandmother's cocktail right out from under her nose while still appearing as if I'm on her best behavior.] Oooh, wow, that’s nice and smooth — and wait, hey, that tastes like grapefruit! But wait, we don’t have any grapefruit juice here, do we? How’d you do that? What’s in this??
1 1/4 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Campari
About 2 to 3 ounces orange juice
Combine all 3 ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into a martini glass, a cocktail coupe, or an ice-filled highball.
I think you could add a dash or two of almost any bitters to this drink — Angostura, Peychaud’s, rhubarb bitters, peach bitters, Fee Brothers Old-Fashioned Bitters — to your liking to give it a bit more darkness and depth.
Also, possible garnishes: Grapefruit peel, lemon wedge, mint sprig.