Crimson Slippers

Dark Rum and Campari…two of my favorites makes for a wonderful combo together in mixed drinks.

Here`s a fabulous cocktail, invented by A:J Rathbun, the Crimson Slippers, found on his blog Spiked Punch. When researching this cocktail i also found it on Cold Glass blog but in a slightly different take.

Its name comes from the color crimson which is a strong, bright, deep red color which originally was the color of the dye produced from a scale insect, Kermes vermilio. Then the cochineal was introduced and since it needed ten to twelve times as much kermes to produce the same color effect as cochineal the kermes fell out of use.

Cochineal is what used to give Campari its bright red color which is called carmine. But the use of cochineal in Campari is since a few years replaced with artificial color.

This is a fantastic drink i think, the rum and Campari creates such a yummy flavor combo together with orange and bitters. And here is room for playing with different rums and bitters and why not fresh juices?

And then its so beautifully ruby red..


Ice cubes
2 ounces dark rum
1 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce homemade triple sec
1 dash bitters
Lime slice, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway up with ice cubes. Add the rum, Campari, triple sec, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze the lime slice over the glass and drop it in.

From Cold Glass:

2½ oz dark rum (Appleton Estate 12)
1 oz Campari
¼ oz Cointreau
2–3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir until quite cold; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Express and garnish with lime.

So of course i have to make my own take on this as well, how can i resist that when my favorite ingredients are involved? its quite different and eventually it got tikified and became an entirely new drink and as such it also got a new name.



1½ oz dark rum (Coruba)
1 oz Smith & Cross
1 oz Campari
1/4 oz green Chartreuse
1 oz fresh yellow grapefruit juice
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.

Another very tasty drink that combines dark rum with Campari is the Jungle Bird. It was first created circa 1978 at the Aviary Bar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Then featured in Jeff Berry’s ‘Intoxica’ reappearing in Remixed.


.75 oz Campari
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)
4 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1.5 oz dark Jamaican rum (here is used Smith & Cross)

Shake well with plenty of ice cubes and pour unstrained into a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with an orchid, mint and cocktail cherry speared to lemon and orange wheels.

This one is also really tasty and when made with a rum that kicks ass like the Smith & Cross its a killer. Or try adding a decent float of a highproof deep demerara or overproof Pusser`s.

And here i made another take on it with blood orange juice:



.75 oz Campari
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz sugarcane syrup (Petit Canne)
4 oz fresh blood orange juice
1.5 oz dark Jamaican rum (here is used Smith & Cross)

Shake it all hard and strain into a glass with crushed ice and garnish with a blood orange wedge orange leaf.


  1. Am a Campari fan myself and came across an alternative in the north of Italy recently: Venticinque Bio Bitter by Walcher, a red Italian bitter made with natural barks and spices. This seems to be a small-batch production and might possibly be hard to come by outside of Italy, but this must be how Campari was once meant to be. It transformed even a low-cost dark rum (I tried it with a Pampero Especial) into a very smooth Crimson Slipper with subtle spices yet very pronounced, lasting bitter notes reminiscent of a Cynar.

  2. That drink sounds fantastic, I know i`d love it. I have yet to try Dr Bird since it`s not in Europe but I love the blackstrap rum from Cruzan.

  3. Thank you for this post! I have an insane love for Campari but have only recently began exploring it mixed with rum because of a Chicago bar named Larry’s. They have a drink called Jungle Doctor which is Dr. Bird rum, Cruzan blackstrap rum, Campari, pineapple, and lime.

  4. Aww…i feel your pain..couldn´t that or they have left at least one bottle? but since the shop had it they should be able to stock up on more soon, apparently it sold out fast.. I hope you find one in a not too long time, i guess you also can mail order since its available in the US. Its not in Europe /yet)

  5. Not so lucky, it would seem, Tiare. I rushed right down to buy my Smith & Cross after I saw your posting, and it was gone. Gone, all of it. Empty air. Someone, it seems, had bought it all. What th’…? I put in my request to reorder, but who knows how long that will take; so now I’m hunting again. I am bemused.

  6. Doug, you`re so lucky to be able to buy S&C its one of the best rums you can have. Green Chartreuse is also one of my fav ingredients to use in mixed drinks.

    Helena, i`m not surprised you`re addicted, and so am i;-)

  7. Chartreuse in the Crimson Slippers, what a delightful idea–I can’t wait to try it out in your Lava Punch incarnation. And as luck would have it, I just came across a local supply of Smith & Cross, too. What a fine morning this is turning out to be.

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