Amo Amari

Alonely woman falls in love with Campari, Aperol, and other bitters.

Troy Patterson

Negroni cocktail using Campari. Click image to expand.Bitters can be used for Negronis, pictured, and many other cocktailsIn the middle of the summer of her 40th year, Sophie Bitterson went very slightly mad, contentedly so. Retrospectively, reviewing her intense fling with a peculiar class of liquors, she counted herself a housewife corrupted by reading fiction.

One Wednesday afternoon in late July, when Scooter and Sally were off at camp and Bob was back in the city "working," she assumed her usual perch by the rocks outside the vacation cottage. In her Adirondack chair, under her sun hat, with a tall cold salty dog at the ready, she cracked open For Your Eyes Only, a collection of tales about the problem drinker James Bond. She was not five pages into its first story, "From a View to a Kill", when Ian Fleming’s analysis of a drink order touched something deep inside of her:

James Bond had his first drink of the evening at Fouquet’s. It was not a solid drink. One cannot drink seriously in French cafés. Out of doors on a pavement in the sun is no place for vodka or whisky or gin…. No, in cafés you have to drink the least offensive of the musical comedy drinks that go with them, and Bond always had the same thing—an Americano—Bitter Campari, Cinzano, a large slice of lemon peel and soda. For the soda he always specified Perrier, for in his opinion expensive soda water was the cheapest way to improve a poor drink.

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