The Novara is a favourite cocktail of mine which appears in Jamie Boudreau’s Canon. Whilst the book, as is not uncommon in modern era cocktail books, has a plethora of complex and “crafty” recipes, the Novara is refreshingly simple in preparation. Strangely Jamie himself doesn’t say much about it, only discussing the merits of using quality passion fruit syrup. But don’t worry Jamie; I’ve got this for you! The Novara has a simple construction of an ounce and a half of gin and half an ounce each of Campari, passion fruit syrup and lemon juice. The modifier/accent combination lead to a cocktail reminiscent of pink grapefruit juice. Never a bad thing in my opinion. The Novara benefits from some care as to the balance of flavours depending on the passion fruit syrup used. I find that with my home-made PF syrup the flavour is skewed a little too far in the fruity direction. Properly made, the lemon juice, passion fruit and lemon juice should combine into a new “grapefruity” flavour and if any of the three becomes dominant you should dial that one back a little. For me that means a lighter touch with the syrup: a heavy quarter ounce to a scant half ounce. Once you’ve cracked the balance this becomes a crowd pleasing cocktail that you can bang out pretty quickly for a group of guests and doubly useful for us tiki-heads who always have some quality passion fruit syrup to hand. What’s with the name? Well Jamie did his research and used the name of the Italian town where Gaspare Campari invented his famous aperitif.
Furthermore I’d add that The Canon Cocktail Book is a beautifully presented yet compact tome that gives some interesting insights into building a successful cocktail bar as well as highlighting a range of cocktail recipes from the beautifully simple to the fairly challenging. Recommended.
1.5oz / 45ml dry gin.
0.5oz / 15ml fresh lemon juice.
0.5oz / 15ml Campari.
0.5oz / 15ml Passion fruit syrup (see text).
Shake well with ice and double strain into a chilled champagne coupé.
Toast Jamie Boudreau.