The Campari Calendar, capturing famous women (Uma Thurman and Kate Hudson are two previous leading ladies) sipping on the red bittersweet iconic aperitif in beautifully striking still photographs has been replaced with the 2017 Campari Red Diaries Series.
The series unveils the evolution of the print calendar to a digital format with a yearlong journey of short films that showcase the powerful philosophy:
“Every cocktail tells a story.”
Each month, the Campari Red Diaries features a different bartender from around the globe in a short film, introducing viewers to the emotions and experiences that inspire bartenders to create each cocktail. Emerging Italian director Ivan Olita filmed the collection of stories and guides viewers through the magic and personality behind the creation of each Campari cocktail, highlighting the culture of mixology.
The American bartender featured is the legendary Julie Reiner, co-owner of cocktailing institutions Clover Club, Leyenda, and Flatiron Lounge. A 2011 James Beard Award nominee for Spirits Professional of the Year, Reiner is an icon of the NYC cocktail scene, acquiring accolades from “Best New Cocktail Lounge in the World” and “Best American Cocktail Bar” to “Best Bar Mentor” at the industry’s annual Spirited Awards.
Reiner comments, “Creating cocktails is a very personal thing. I can look back at drinks I have produced for menus and remember exactly what was happening in my life at the time. Oftentimes we are looking to make the guest feel something when they taste a cocktail we have created. The Campari Red Diaries looked at this idea in a very whimsical way telling a story inspired by each of the bartenders’ life experience.”
“We all reach for what we know when mixing drinks. A bartender’s personal experience can have a huge impact on their cocktail styling. Bartenders who travel frequently, taste more food, spirits, and drinks, and have a lot of memories to draw from when they are working on new drinks.”
“Being from Hawaii, I gravitated towards tropical flavors in the beginning of my career such as lychee, mango, macadamia nuts etc. The more I got out there and tried new things; I was able to incorporate those new flavors into my drinks. A bartender’s original creation tells a lot about them if you really look at their flavor combinations and spirit choices.”
By Julie Reiner
- 3 cl. Strawberry Infused Campari
- 3 cl. Cinzano Vermouth Bianco
- 3 cl. London Dry Gin
- Orange Twist
- Fresh Strawberry
Glass: Rocks Glass
Preparation: In a mixing glass, combine Strawberry infused Campari, Cinzano Vermouth Bianco and London Dry Gin. Add ice and stir. Strain over one large ice block. Garnish with orange twist and a fresh strawberry.
The Campari Red Dairies Series kicked off with Killer in Red, a lead-in film starring Golden Globe-winning actor Clive Owen and written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, the Italian internationally-renowned award-winning director. See the Killer in Red short below.
Clive Owen plays protagonist Floyd, who has a talent for reading his clients and crafting a cocktail that perfectly fits their character. In the film, Floyd’s talent is revealed when viewers meet the “Lady in Red,” played by actress Caroline Tillette. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the Lady in Red is far more complex than Floyd could have ever expected. In typical Sorrentino style, the film’s ending lets the audience come to their own conclusion, while reinforcing Campari’s ethos that every cocktail tells a story.
Owen comments, “At the moment, more than ever, cocktails are very revered-there’s been a real rise in the artistic flair of cocktail making and bars that specialize in producing really good quality cocktails. I know from my experience of traveling around the world that every cocktail is different, and being able to mix a cocktail exquisitely is a real art form. People love a good cocktail, and they are beginning more than ever to seek out great cocktail makers from particular bars or hotels.”
When asked how to make a Killer in Red cocktail, Owens replies, “The Killer in Red is made from a combination of Campari, Cinzano 1757 Bianco, Grand Marnier, chamomile gin, and a drop of rose essence. See, I remembered it … I’ll remember it forever!”
“I’ve learned that the art of cocktail making is so very specific and I have to admit, I do look at bartending a little differently now.”
– Clive Owen
Keeping with the tradition of the Campari Calendar from years past, the Killer in Red protagonists and bartenders behind each of the stories are captured in the Campari Red Diaries Calendar Book. With acclaimed Argentinean photographer Ale Burset behind the lens, the Calendar Book encapsulates the essence behind each story and its bartender narrator. As in previous years, only 9,999 will be printed and will not go on sale, but will be shared among friends of Campari around the world.