The Garibaldi Cocktail, one of summer’s hottest drinks, is a sophisticated Italian tipple. Follow our super simple recipe and craft a refreshing Garibaldi at home.
When we watched Garibaldi cocktails fly through the bar at Loup-Garou, a bustling natural wine bar in Vienna’s 7th district, it was a matter of mere minutes before we ordered the drink ourselves. After taking our first sips, it was inevitable that we would soon craft the delightful summer sipper at home.
Those first sips were nothing short of a cocktail revelation. While our initial Garibaldi cocktail was colorful and frothy, it maintained an urbane element thanks to the herbaceous addition of Campari.
And guess what? It’s not only possible to drink an excellent Garibaldi cocktail in Italy, Austria or even Austin. It’s just as easy to craft and drink Garibaldi cocktails at home.
What Is a Garibaldi Cocktail?
Crafting a Garibaldi cocktail requires two primary ingredients – Campari and fresh orange juice. These two ingredients, one bitter and one sweet, come together to create a flavor sensation that’s ideal for any pre-dinner aperitivo session involving meat, cheese or olives.
Similar to G&T and Whiskey Ginger cocktails, the Garibaldi tastes better than the sum of its two parts. And like those other two-ingredient cocktails, the Garibaldi is as easy to drink as it is to craft.
History of the Garibaldi Cocktail
The Garibaldi cocktail history has a few events in its timeline and they’re all important. However, the most crucial event happened in 1860 when Gaspare Campari invented his self-named liqueur in Milan. After all, there would be no Garibaldi cocktail without his red bitter liqueur.
Despite Campari’s contribution, the bitter orange cocktail was actually inspired and named after Giuseppe Garibaldi. The 19th century Italian is notable for his role in uniting disparate Italian regions to form the Kingdom of Italy just one year after Campari’s aromatic creation.
Garibaldi cookies made with currants are also named after the influential Italian general.
The final key event occurred half way around the world more than a century later. That’s when bartender Naren Young introduced New York City to the Garibaldi cocktail. His version, crafted with “Campari and fluffy orange juice,” remains on Dante‘s menu as a signature cocktail to this day.
Garibaldi Drink Ingredients
The Garibaldi’s ingredient list is both short and sweet. In fact, you probably already have the necessary ingredients at home. If not, the following items should be easy to secure:
While freshly squeezing the orange juice isn’t mandatory, doing so will enhance your cocktail’s flavor and fluff. Plus, it’s easy to do with a juicer. However, there’s no substitute for Campari in our Giribaldi recipe.
Campari is a complex liqueur that derives its herbaceous tones from 50+ secret ingredients that include bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit. Not only is it a key ingredient in Italian cocktails like this one, but it’s also great for making simple summer spritzes with soda or sparkling wine.
How to Craft a Garibaldi
We use the following tools in our Garibaldi recipe:
Step 1: Freshly squeeze orange juice from an orange.
Using an electric citrus juicer will make this step a breeze.
Step 2: Whip the freshly squeezed orange juice with a hand blender.
If you skip this step, your cocktail will taste good but it won’t be fluffy.
Step 3: Measure the whipped orange juice and Campari, immediately pouring each into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
We use a Japanese jigger for this step to ensure accurate measurements and avoid spillage.
Purchase a Japanese jigger if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
Step 4: Gently stir the whipped orange juice and Campari.
We use a bar spoon for this step but you can use any long spoon in your utensil drawer.
Step 5: Garnish with an orange wedge.
If you’re feeling fancy, dehydrate an orange slice to use as an alternate garnish. If you don’t have a dehydrator, just place an orange slice on a baking rack in a 140°F/60°C convection oven for about 4 to 6 hours.
Mastering the Garibaldi cocktail is easy. Once you accomplish this non-formidable task, you can multi-task with your bottle of Campari to craft the following cocktail variations:
Campari, Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, an Orange Wedge and Ice
No. However, whipping the freshly squeezed orange juice elevates the Garibaldi to the next level. It’s worth the extra effort!
The Garibaldi is stirred, not shaken.
We like to serve this cocktail in a highball glass but you could use a lowball glass instead.
Garibaldi Drink Recipe
- 1.5 ounces Campari
- 4 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed and whipped
- 1 orange wedge
- ice cubes
- Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
- Pour Campari and whipped orange juice into the glass. Gently stir.
- Garnish with orange wedge.
- While you don't have to use freshly squeezed orange juice, doing so will create a better cocktail.
- We use a hand blender to whip our orange juice but dry shaking the orange juice works too.
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Paksh Novelty Italian Highball Glasses [Set of 6] Clear Heavy Base Tall Bar Glass - Drinking Glasses for Water, Juice, Beer, Wine, Whiskey, and Cocktails | 13 Ounce Cups
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: June 30, 2022