Welcome back to A Common Kitchen everyone! I am so excited to be a part of The End of Summer Cocktail Collab hosted by the lovely Monique who runs the blog Peaches 2 Peaches. I was so excited when Monique asked me to join the collab because it was such a great way to meet even more food bloggers and people who share a passion for food and food photography. So here’s to my first collab, the #summercocktailcollab.
When Monique first asked me to be a part of the collab I was more than excited to be included but I had NO idea what it meant to be part of one. Essentially there is a theme and everyone in the collab makes something based on that theme. Of course this theme was End of Summer Cocktails and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated by this. I don’t drink very much and when I do it’s mainly just red and white wine and the occasional bottle of Prosecco. So the idea of coming up with my own cocktail was a bit daunting.
The only idea I had was to make a cocktail that used Campari, a bitter/apéritif that is made by infusing alcohol with herbs and fruits. It is known for it’s vibrant red color and distinct taste. I was introduced to Campari by my husband, Jacob. I don’t particularly like the taste of it on it’s own but I knew that I could make a delicious cocktail with it. I knew I wanted to include a citrus juice of some sort since it’s a classic pairing with Campari and because I love citrus in just about anything. I also wanted to include some mineral water to make the cocktail a bit lighter.
Originally I thought to make a cocktail that was part Campari, grapefruit juice, and mineral water. Sounds good right? Well, like I mentioned above, Campari is pretty dang bitter and so is grapefruit juice. So I knew that the drink would not be balanced and pack too much of a punch, and not in a good way. So the next ingredient that I added was simple syrup. Simple syrup, if you’ve never made it, is just equal parts of sugar and water that is heated on the stove until the sugar is dissolved. It’s very commonly used as a sweetener in cocktails and is extremely easy to make. However, when I just added plain simple syrup to the cocktail, it still fell flat. I needed one last thing to add to the cocktail.
And then it hit me… MINT! And to be completely honest, I had NO idea if it would work or not. Like I mentioned, I am not a drinker so it was a complete shot in the dark. I made some mint infused simple syrup and made the first ever Persona Cocktail.
It took one sip for Jacob and I to decide that it was the best cocktail either one of us had ever had. It was cool, crisp, perfectly balanced, and delicious. The Campari flavor was there but wasn’t overpowering. The grapefruit juice added a touch of acidity and tartness that I had originally wanted. The most surprising component in the cocktail was the mint simple syrup. It added depth and freshness to the cocktail that I didn’t expect to have in there. The whole cocktail is topped off with a bit of San Pellegrino Sparkling Water that gives the drink lightness and of course adds a little carbonation. I also decided to garnish the drink with a grapefruit wheel half and sprig of mint to make it pretty.
The Persona Cocktail truly is the best cocktail I have ever had and my husband fully agrees. It is light, refreshing, and everything else you want in an End of Summer Cocktail. Honestly though, this is a year round cocktail, trust me! One of my favorite things about this cocktail is that you don’t have to buy 2, 3, 4+ different bottles of liquor to make it. You just buy a bottle of Campari (which runs at about $30) and few other inexpensive ingredients from the grocery store to throw it together. And BAM, the perfect cocktail to serve to your guests… or yourself, of course!
I truly hope you give The Persona Cocktail a try if you love cocktails or even if you only drink occasionally. I’m a lightweight and I can easily sip on two of these throughout dinner. And if you try this recipe I would love it if you shared your photos, thoughts, and/or feedback with me. Also, go check out #summercocktailcollab on Instagram to see everyone else’s cocktail creations! I hope you all love this cocktail as much as Jacob and I did! Happy cooking, baking, and drinking everyone!
The Persona Cocktail
Makes one cocktail but can be easily multiplied
1 Ounce Campari
1 Ounce Mint Simple Syrup (Recipe Below)
2 Ounces Fresh Grapefruit Juice
2 Ounces Sparkling Water
Mint Sprig and Grapefruit slices to garnish
In a 12 ounce glass (I use these ones) add the Campari and mint simple syrup. Mix just to combine.
Add 4-5 ice cubes to the glass.
Pour in the grapefruit juice and then add the sparkling water.
Garnish with a grapefruit slice and mint sprig. Enjoy!
Recipe for the Mint Simple Syrup
½ Cup White Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Water
1 Bunch of Fresh Mint, leaves and stems
In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water and mix. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved— about 4 minutes.
Add in the mint and mix until all of the mint is wilted and submerged. Cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Throw away the wilted mint and transfer the mint simple syrup to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely cool.
The Mint Simple Syrup should keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.