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Death in Venice

by Tony Conigliaro from Drinks

Death in Venice from Tony Conigliaro's brilliant cocktail book, Drinks. This stunning ruby red cocktail with Campari, grapefruit bitters, prosecco and orange makes an incredible aperitif.


I have always liked Italian concept of the aperitivo hour. A stopgap between lunch and late dinner, enjoing an aperitif-style drink – whether it be a Negroni, Sbagliato or Spritz – becomes a real social event and a civilised way to unwind from work and begin the evening. My business partner, Camille, loves Campari, Spritzers and Venice. This drink, as well as being an ode to the aperitif, is my ode to her and her liquid loves.

The Sbagliato was the launch pad for this drink, but I was after a lighter cocktail that could mirror its complexities whilst being as refreshing as a Spritz. The result was a cocktail that carefully pivots on a complex interplay between Campari, with its heavily bitter orange flavour, zesty dry grapefruit bitters and Prosecco. A small orange twist completes the layering of multidimensional touches that harmonise bitterness, dryness and citrus for a fresh and lively finish. Served in a champane flute, this drink packs in far more flavour that just an ordinary Spritz.

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15ml Campari
3 dashes of grapefruit bitters
125ml Prosecco
Orange twist (a small piece of orange zest), to finish

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Pour the Campari into a champagne flute.

Add three dashes of homemade grapefruit bitters and top with the Prosecco.

Stir gently. Finish with a small twist of orange.

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