The Armada

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Cocktail History

The Armada is a modern cocktail that was created in 2010 by Lynnette Marrero in New York City, New York. Dreamed up in celebration of Campari’s 150th anniversary, the recipe is considered a reverse Negroni variation that is made with a simple mixture of the bitter Italian liqueur, cream sherry, tequila, and grapefruit.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Campari: This is a liqueur made in Italy with gentian root, rhubarb, citrus, herbs, aromatic plants, fruit, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the Campari.

Cream Sherry: This is a type of sherry made with a blend of dry wine and sweet wine. We used Don Benigno Cream Sherry because it has a nutty almond taste that is noticeable but still subtle. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry.

Tequila Blanco: This is a spirit made with unaged agave and water. We used Dulce Vida Spirits Organic Tequila Blanco because it has a sweeter agave taste and spicy finish. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Blanco Spirit in place of the tequila.

Grapefruit Twist: This is the peel of a grapefruit that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

The Armada has cool, herbal Campari aromas with a touch of grapefruit and starts with a rather dry taste featuring sherry nuttiness and agave initially followed by the liqueur’s bitter yet herbal aftertaste accented with slight hints of more nuttiness on the finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although neither of us would put this atop our list of favorite Campari cocktails, we were both intrigued by the flavor combinations The Armada offered and have a ton of respect for the way it manages to highlight the liqueur so strongly while still mingling it among other flavors.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“According to the book we got this from, this drink was created for Campari’s 150th anniversary, and it’s certainly a good way to celebrate the drink. Its bright red color is a telling preview of its flavor as it tastes strongly of the bitter liqueur. The sherry and tequila do come through a bit in the forefront and aftertaste of the drink, but they are accenting notes more than anything else. Interestingly enough, as an advocate and lover of Campari, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do drinking the liqueur straight; while its additions were tasty and did contribute to an interesting cocktail, I would probably opt for a simple Campari-rocks next time around over this recipe.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“What a bizarre cocktail this was for me. It’s described as a Negroni-style template that swaps out gin and vermouth for sherry and tequila—two ingredients I probably wouldn’t have ever thought to stick with Campari. Although it was ultimately still too bitter for me to truly say I enjoyed it, The Armada was certainly intriguing and had me picking apart its flavor profile to discern what each element was. It’s bitter but nutty and light at the same time. My recommendation is trying this once if you have similar drinking experience to mine and happen to have the ingredients on hand, but if you don’t like Campari, don’t go out of your way to make one because it probably won’t knock your socks off quite enough.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Mezcal + Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave by Robert Simonson.

Sale
Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave [A Cocktail Recipe Book]
Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave [A Cocktail Recipe Book]
Hardcover Book; Simonson, Robert (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 04/06/2021 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.26 Amazon Prime

AuthorMezcal + Tequila Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Campari
 1 oz Cream Sherry
 ¾ oz Tequila Blanco
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Method
1

Add Campari, sherry, tequila, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express grapefruit twist over top of drink.

5

Garnish with grapefruit twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Campari
 1 oz Cream Sherry
 ¾ oz Tequila Blanco
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add Campari, sherry, tequila, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express grapefruit twist over top of drink.

5

Garnish with grapefruit twist.

The Armada

Make It a Mocktail: Use Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the Campari, Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry, and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Blanco Spirit in place of the tequila to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Campari Cocktails

If you like this Campari-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Enzoni Cocktail Recipe

Enzoni: A gin cocktail made with Campari, lemon juice, simple syrup, and green grapes

Bicicletta Cocktail Recipe

Bicicletta: A sparkling wine cocktail made with Campari, soda water, and a lemon wheel

Bitter Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Bitter Mai Tai: A rum cocktail made with Campari, lime juice, orgeat syrup, orange curaçao, and a mint sprig

Rome With a View Cocktail Recipe

Rome With a View: A Campari cocktail made with dry vermouth, lime juice, simple syrup, soda water, and an orange slice

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