Make Your Favorite Cocktail A Little Fancier With Campari Dust

With its unmistakable flavor, Campari is sugary, herby, and the stuff plenty of aperitifs are made from. While Campari can certainly be enjoyed on its own, this liqueur is most often mixed into drinks like Negronis and spritz cocktails to help balance out its more complex notes. The bright red color lends colorful hues to Americano and Old Pal cocktails — which are among some of the best Campari cocktails — but the liqueur itself isn't the only part that can provide visual appeal to good-looking drinks.

Sure, Campari is bitter, but with a bit of preparation, you can convert the liquid into a dusty powder that can be sprinkled onto drinks and used to rim glasses. As a result, the drinks you serve will look like something a professional bartender whipped up. We have even more good news: Since the alcohol is burned off during the process, the Campari dust you make at home can be used in nonalcoholic drinks and mocktails. And once you master the steps involved, you can use your choice of sugary liqueur to make other powdery creations.

Turning liqueur into candy

To make dust from Campari, you'll be cooking the liqueur at a low temperature then grind whatever is left into fine powder. Heating the liqueur slowly over time will ensure the sugar doesn't caramelize and turn brown, according to Cocktail Time with Kevin Kos.

Silicone products are ideal for this purpose. If you're using an oven, the liqueur will cook for around six hours at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Open the oven door a few times throughout this period to let any moisture escape, Kos advises, and once the Campari is solidified, let it cool before grinding it with a mortar and pestle. If the texture is jelly-like, simply place it back into the oven to cook for a few more hours at a low temperature. This DIY dehydrated Campari dust can also be made in a microwave at 10-second intervals so the liquid is heated yet doesn't reach boiling point. Eventually, the liqueur will turn into a thicker syrup that can be set aside to harden and ground into dust.

Because converting sugary alcohol into hard candy takes time and isn't the most cost-effective bartending strategy, this effect is best saved for special occasions and parties when you really want to impress guests. After you've made your precious powder, store it in a shaker to garnish your fanciest drinks.