Even in a place with a strong Italian and Sicilian heritage, such as New Orleans, the Garibaldi cocktail, like its namesake, is relatively unknown. Which is a shame because the cocktail is easy to make and has a valid background for its existence. 

One of the founders of the modern Italian state, Giuseppe Garibaldi, is not the first name in Italian history usually associated with adult beverages. Campari is pretty close to the top of that list, and that spirit is one of just two ingredients used to make a Garibaldi cocktail. The cocktail’s name is derived because Garibaldi’s trademark uniform was a red shirt. Same color as the cocktail. Bit of a stretch, but as good a name for this drink as any. 

Garibaldi’s life was a geographic and mission mess. Born in France, he fought in South America, wreaked havoc against the Austrians, and his governmental assistance was rejected by the Catholic Church from none other than Pope Pius IX. Military rejection also came from the king of Piedmont-Sardinia, Charles Albert. Finally, Garibaldi found life-success in 1860 with the “Expedition of the Thousand,” resulting in the annexation of the territory of Sicily. He is considered one of the “Fathers of Italian Unification.” 

All of which has nothing to do with the cocktail, except the color of Garibaldi’s freedom fighting troops’ shirts. But the drink is too good and too simple in its construction to pass by. So don’t; pass it by that is. Oh, and be certain to use fresh-squeezed orange juice. Makes all the difference.  

Garibaldi Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Campari

4 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice

Garnish: orange wedge

Build the Campari and orange juice in a small highball glass filled with ice.

Stir and garnish with the orange wedge.