Pleasantly bitter, herb-infused Campari is a bracing aperitif, especially when it's blended with a little sparkling wine as it is here. Neal Bodenheimer loves how the vivid-red Italian spirit tastes with fennel. "This is a perfect way to use up any leftover fennel fronds from the kitchen," he says.
This cocktail reminds Mike Ryan of the strawberry-rhubarb pies his mother made every spring. He roasts the rhubarb for the drink's syrup to caramelize the edges of the stalks and to accentuate their subtle, earthy bitterness. The syrup can be mixed with club soda for a pretty, nonalcoholic drink.
The Paloma is a classic Mexican cocktail made with lime juice, tequila and grapefruit soda. Scott Baird, the mixologist who created this drink for Comal in Berkeley, makes his version with smoky mezcal, fresh grapefruit juice and Cocchi Americano, the sweet Italian aperitif wine.
Edna's is a legendary bar in Oklahoma City with dollar bills stapled to the walls. Its signature drink is an unlikely mix of three ingredients: fresh orange juice, amaretto and light beer. Key to the surprisingly tasty cocktail: a frosty mug.