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Time for a Drink: The Jasmine

Let's get this weekend started right. Here's a cocktail to kick things off. Need more than one? Here you go. Cheers!

Don't let the color fool you. With its gentle pink hue, the Jasmine may look as prissy and cute as a Hello Kitty armband, and its unassuming appearance and sprightly color has no doubt appealed to many drinkers of the once-ubiquitous Cosmo. But unlike that candy-colored alcopop, the Jasmine is all business, its alluring tint supplied not by the Cosmopolitan's innocuous red cranberry juice but by the intensely garnet Campari, an Italian aperitif famous for its powerful bitter flavor and its racy advertising campaigns.

As anyone who has sampled it will attest, Campari is an acquired taste--some drinkers love its complex bitterness in a Negroni or an Americano, while others are put off by its assertive flavor. Consider the Jasmine a bridge drink: Campari lovers often find this a welcome addition to their cocktail list, while those averse to Campari's flavor find that its intensity is nicely tempered, and that the Jasmine tastes more like grapefruit juice than the dark red amaro.

Created at the Townhouse Bar & Grill in Emeryville, California in the mid-1990s by Paul Harrington (author of Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century), the Jasmine is a modern classic, and a great introduction to Campari for those trying it for the first (or the fifth) time.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

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