It should be noted that women who drink real, true stiff cocktails are always given a bit of a stare. I started at it when I lived in Italy. I'd order my grandfather's favorite summertime drink, a Campari and Soda and my Italian friends joked that I must be an old man at heart because of my incessant love for Campari.
Seeing as so much has changed in Italy since I lived there, I wanted to make a cocktail that was a bit of a change as well. It's those bold flavors my grandfather loved but reincarnated as this bittersweet Campari Watermelon Cooler. It has watermelon and Chambord for sweetness and a pinch of salt to help tame the bitterness just so. It's a cooler thats made for sipping and snacking. No matter where in the world you find yourself, mix up this Campari Watermelon Cooler, and enjoy your own aperitivo because a true happy hour is not in the geography but in the spirit!
For the watermelon juice: Blend all the watermelon in a food processor or blender until extremely smooth, about 2 minutes. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh seive and skim off and discard any foam (you should have about 3 cups of juice).
For the cooler: In a large pitcher, combine the juices, salt, Chambord, and Campari, and stir to combine. When ready to serve, add the club soda then pour into ice-filled glasses and serve.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp