Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart

When good writers happen to esoteric spirits.

Sweetly sharp and bracingly bitter with a grapefruity tang, Campari is the most widely famous and readily located of those spirits known as bitters or amari, as they say in Italy, where a preponderance of them were devised in the 1800s. Concocted as digestive aids or herbal tonics, they boast of having been compounded from 13 or 33 or 53 distinct ingredients—roots and rinds and rhubarbs, barks and beans and spices, myrrhs and mysteries. Each is hyped with a tale that its proprietary recipe is known only to a select committee of six members or fewer, or to a lone distillery manager trained in anti-interrogation techniques. All were complex, Sophie knew, and she fancied herself a complicated woman.


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