A post on eGullet piqued my interest with mention of a Campari Alexander. Campari? With chocolate? As a dessert drink? Further research indicated the drink was part of Anvil’s (Houston, TX) fall menu for 2009. Being one to love just about anything with Campari in it, I had to give this a taste. Another forum post delineated the recipe as containing 2 parts campari to 1 part each cream and chocolate liqueur, as opposed to the equal parts of the standard Alexander formula. Unfortunately, I don’t have any dehydrated Campari crystals to garnish as Anvil do. The dehydrated Campari concept is really getting around, with two Melbourne bars already making mileage of it; Der Raum using it to allow the drinker to control the Campari content (and otherwise eat) in their Negroni variant the Spice Trader and Golden Monkey using it as a rim garnish.
Destined by recipe to be a great digestif. The cream, though dulling the sharp complexity of campari’s flavours significantly, offers the luxuriously rich dessert texture expected of an Alexander. On the tongue is a chocolate dominated palate, which soon slides into the classic bitter finish of Campari. The mouthfeel, if I recall correctly (been a while since my last Brandy Alexander), proves thicker than a traditional spirit-based Alexander, and the direction maybe even sweeter (due to Campari’s sugar content), though this is rendered inoffensive by the bitterness. Whilst this is a drink to take in small doses, it may prove to be my favourite Alexander variant yet.