Federica wades her way through a bevy of Campari cocktails at the Everyman Cinema

A beautiful woman is queuing outside a club in Milan, the city’s glittering night lights as a backdrop. She enters, and stares, rapt, towards the bar,where a pair of hands clad in bright red latex gloves is mixing luminescent, red cocktails.

Such is the striking opening of the short film called The Legend of The Red Hand, beautifully directed by Italian director Stefano Sollima (Gomorra, Suburra) for Campari, starring Avatar’s Zoe Saldana. The movie revolves around the legend of the red hands belonging to  a mysterious mixologist whose identity is a secret to all, but whose cocktails have become legendary.

The cocktails of course, feature iconic Italian drink Campari. The inimitable and extremely versatile Campari recipe, used as the basis of many cocktails served worldwide, has been kept the same since its creation, and has remained a closely guarded secret passed down over the years.

The creation of Campari was the result of the talent of Gaspare Campari, master drink maker and founder of the company. His experiments in concocting new beverages in Novara, in 1860, resulted in a recipe that still today remains a secret known only to the very few people in charge of the production process.

A select number of Campari fans attended the UK launch of the film at the intimate Everyman cinema in Kings Cross, sipping of course, plenty of cocktails with the red Italian drink.

We started with a Milanese G&T, where Campari is mixed with gin, tonic water and a squeeze of lime; the Original Negroni followed, a classic with Campari, Cinzano 1757 Rosso and gin.

Finally, as we took our seats in the snug screen, we were handed the highlight of the evening: Silk & Stone Negroni, made with Olive Oil washed Campari, cacao butter gin and Cinzano 1757 Rosso.

This truly splendid cocktail is the product of Rich Wood’s imagination. For those familiar with London’s (and beyond) bar scene, Rich, aka the Cocktail Guy, is the Head of Spirit & Cocktail Development at Duck & Waffle and has created some now famous  cocktails including a nutella based negroni. 

He was present at the event, and he told the audience how Campari has been a presence in his life from a very young age (pacifiers and spirits go hand in hand in his story) and how it features in many of his creations. It seemed only natural that the brand would engage him on the Red Diaries project.

Rich is in fact one of a handful of mixologists from all over the world chosen to represent Campari and tasked with creating original, bespoke cocktails.

We loved the Silk & Stone Negroni, its warming tones of cocoa butter and its mellow texture making it the perfect tipple for a wintery night (but we’re sure we’d love it just as much on a summer evening). We now cannot wait to try the other Red Hands’ ideas.

The slick, elegantly dark short film is available on Campari’s YouTube channel.