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Campfire’s Over/Under: grapes above, agave below

“We really try to walk the walk of using produce that is local, and in season.”

Over Under
Over Under

On a cool day in Carlsbad, Nick Sinutko presents me with one of Campfire’s current menu cocktails, the Over/Under. He describes the drink as “a super juicy, refreshing, and herbaceous cocktail that utilizes grape as an ingredient in three different ways.” Sinutko starts the count, “First, with fresh grapes that get cooked down with sugar and a trio of botanicals that include juniper, rosehips, and hibiscus. Second, in the small production vermouth sourced from Santa Barbara.” And third, “by using Cappelletti, an Italian grape-based amaro with a light bitterness.” Given his background in wine, “and our hyper-curated domestic natural wine list here at Campfire,” he says, “I have always wanted to feature grapes in a cocktail in a way that was interesting and complex, rather than just one-noted and fruity.”

Nick Sinutko

The cocktail is named Over/Under “to note the grapes above, and the agave below… As grapes are grown over or above ground, the piñas — agave hearts — used to make mezcal are smoked underground.” Although mezcal adds smokiness to the cocktail, “it’s met in equal parts with all of the other components. So it plays only a supporting role in the overall flavor.”

Place

Campfire

2725 State Street, Carlsbad

He built the recipe with two concepts in mind. “Most importantly, the Enzoni,” a variation on the Negroni. “The Enzoni takes it into the realm of the refreshing, including lemon juice, sugar, and muddled green grapes… We simply flesh out the concept and swap a few key ingredients. Most notably, black grapes for green, and Cappelletti in place of the Campari.” Another inspiration was his desire to show that “the combination of gin and mezcal in cocktails is highly underrated. The bright, high-toned flavor of gin botanicals is such a great dance partner with the complex smokiness of mezcal,” he says with exuberance. “Rather than include one or the other, I introduced juniper, rose hips, and hibiscus to mimic the flavor of gin, while still using mezcal as the main spirit.”

Campfire’s status as a farm-to-table restaurant also plays into the creation of its cocktails, because the menu is constantly changing. “That term ‘farm-to-table’ is one that is tossed around a lot,” says Sinutko. “So whenever possible, we really try to walk the walk of using produce that is local, and in season.”

  • Campfire’s
  • Over/Under
  • 3/4 oz Mezcal
  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Cappelletti
  • 3/4 oz “Mountain Grape Syrup”
  • 3/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • For the home bartender, Campari may be substituted for Cappelletti. To recreate the grape syrup, muddle a few red grapes and a half-ounce of simple syrup. Combine ingredients, shake, then pour over a large ice cube. Add a rose petal for garnish.
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Over Under
Over Under

On a cool day in Carlsbad, Nick Sinutko presents me with one of Campfire’s current menu cocktails, the Over/Under. He describes the drink as “a super juicy, refreshing, and herbaceous cocktail that utilizes grape as an ingredient in three different ways.” Sinutko starts the count, “First, with fresh grapes that get cooked down with sugar and a trio of botanicals that include juniper, rosehips, and hibiscus. Second, in the small production vermouth sourced from Santa Barbara.” And third, “by using Cappelletti, an Italian grape-based amaro with a light bitterness.” Given his background in wine, “and our hyper-curated domestic natural wine list here at Campfire,” he says, “I have always wanted to feature grapes in a cocktail in a way that was interesting and complex, rather than just one-noted and fruity.”

Nick Sinutko

The cocktail is named Over/Under “to note the grapes above, and the agave below… As grapes are grown over or above ground, the piñas — agave hearts — used to make mezcal are smoked underground.” Although mezcal adds smokiness to the cocktail, “it’s met in equal parts with all of the other components. So it plays only a supporting role in the overall flavor.”

Place

Campfire

2725 State Street, Carlsbad

He built the recipe with two concepts in mind. “Most importantly, the Enzoni,” a variation on the Negroni. “The Enzoni takes it into the realm of the refreshing, including lemon juice, sugar, and muddled green grapes… We simply flesh out the concept and swap a few key ingredients. Most notably, black grapes for green, and Cappelletti in place of the Campari.” Another inspiration was his desire to show that “the combination of gin and mezcal in cocktails is highly underrated. The bright, high-toned flavor of gin botanicals is such a great dance partner with the complex smokiness of mezcal,” he says with exuberance. “Rather than include one or the other, I introduced juniper, rose hips, and hibiscus to mimic the flavor of gin, while still using mezcal as the main spirit.”

Campfire’s status as a farm-to-table restaurant also plays into the creation of its cocktails, because the menu is constantly changing. “That term ‘farm-to-table’ is one that is tossed around a lot,” says Sinutko. “So whenever possible, we really try to walk the walk of using produce that is local, and in season.”

  • Campfire’s
  • Over/Under
  • 3/4 oz Mezcal
  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Cappelletti
  • 3/4 oz “Mountain Grape Syrup”
  • 3/4 oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • For the home bartender, Campari may be substituted for Cappelletti. To recreate the grape syrup, muddle a few red grapes and a half-ounce of simple syrup. Combine ingredients, shake, then pour over a large ice cube. Add a rose petal for garnish.
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