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Campari launches Negroni Solera in UK

Campari , the vibrant red coloured spirit made from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water, launched the world's first bespoke Campari Solera system in The Bon Vivant bar and restaurant in Edinburgh yesterday. 

A series of oak barrels engraved with the distinguished Campari design, all linked by pipes, has been installed to create a continuous method to oak-age and mix the classic Negroni. Vermouth, Gin and Campari are all held in the top oak barrels in the renowned Scottish bar, world famous for its creative concoctions, before filtering down to the brass tap which emits the pure oak-aged and naturally blended ready-to-serve Negroni.

Hugo Mills, UK country manager for Gruppo Campari says: "This is a global first for Campari, and we're delighted that the UK's leading the way in presenting more creative ways to create and celebrate the Negroni."

Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. A solera is literally the set of barrels or other containers used in the process. Products which are often solera aged include Sherry, Madeira, Port wine, Marsala, Mavrodafni, Muscat, and Muscadelle wines; Balsamic, Commandaria, and Sherry vinegars; Spanish brandy; beer; and rums.

In the solera process, successions of containers are filled with the product over a series of equal aging intervals (usually a year). One container is filled for each interval. At the end of the interval after the last container is filled, the oldest container in the solera is tapped for part of its content, which is bottled. Then that container is refilled from the next oldest container, and that one in succession from the second-oldest, down to the youngest container, which is refilled with new product. This procedure is repeated at the end of each aging interval. The transferred product mixes with the older product in the next barrel.

No container is ever drained, so some of the earlier product always remains in each container. This remnant diminishes to a tiny level, but there can be significant traces of product much older than the average, depending on the transfer fraction. In theory traces of the very first product placed in the solera may be present even after 50 or 100 cycles.

The Bon Vivant is tucked away in Edinburgh's stylish Thistle Street, home to the city's most fashionable boutiques, and is described by The Guardian as the leading after-hours cocktail stop, recently winning a 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Priced £8.50, Campari Solera Barrel Aged Negroni is available from today from The Bon Vivant, 55 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY  Tel: 0131 225 3275. Open: Mon–Sun noon–1am

Pictured above: Loris Contro,  Campari Italian spirits specialist and Hugo Mills Gruppo, Campari UK country manager



9 December 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor