In Italy, the Campari & Soda is a popular drink with democratic appeal, due to its simple yet stylish nature that comfortably travels the high-low spectrum. Whether you’re stirring one up at home, starting the evening at a restaurant, or looking for a last-call option at a dive bar, you can count on a bottle of Campari and cold soda water being at the ready. This, combined with its bittersweet and bubbly profile, has bartenders in the States, like Jack Schramm, championing the cocktail. “It hits every single mark that I need in a beverage,” he says. “It’s a perfect drink.”
As with any highball, the fewer ingredients in a drink, the more to consider—from glassware and garnish to ice and temperature to the type of sparkling water. The recipe here is a nod to the iconic serve at the drink’s birthplace, the historic Camparino in Galleria in the heart of Milan, where the glass and bottle of Campari are kept in the freezer for the most satisfying results.