FYI: This is an archive of my Tonight's Negroni email newsletter.
I'll go ahead and live up to the name of the newsletter for the inaugural missive and feature a proper Negroni:
- Add two king size ice cubes to a large rocks glass.
- Measure each ingredient into the glass. (I pour them in the above order because it helps keep my little measuring cup from getting sticky.)
- Give it a stir.
- I don't bother with a garnish, because why ruin a whole piece of citrus for one drink? But, if you like, add an orange twist (OR: a single dash of orange bitters, unstirred).
Why is the Negroni the darling cocktail of bartenders and booze aficionados? (Trust me it is. Anthony Bourdain, when asked what his go-to drink was, answered something along the lines of "A Negroni if I'm in a good mood, otherwise whiskey." Ever since I read that, I have dubbed the Negroni "my happy drink".)
It has several positive attributes (at least in the eyes of those two groups mentioned above):
- It's an easy mix. Even proportions are next to unheard of in the cocktail world. If you've ever had too many to mix another, you might almost be dead.
- It's an acquired taste. You really have to develop a booze-tasting palate to appreciate bitter liqueurs like Campari.
- It offers room for interpretation. Even with the 1:1:1 recipe, the Negroni can be a totally different depending on the gin you use or the vermouth. (For the record: Campari is non-negotiable if you are calling the drink a "Negroni". Other ingredients call for a new name. See: the Bijou with Chartreuse, and my version using Suze that I think I called "Citrine".)
In light of that last point, this Negroni features:
- A gin from the illustrious Tuthilltown distillery that features alcohol made with apples picked in upstate New York and an interesting botanical mix. It's light and a bit fruity. They call it "a smoother and rounder gin" and I rather agree. Plus it has a tall ship printed on the (1 liter!) bottle.
- A warm and spicy sweet vermouth from California that is quite complex on its own.
The end result has a welcoming front-end with that classic Campari bitterness at the end. Towards the end, when the ice is well-melted, the finish is largely medicinal.
Might need another... (Just a single this time, though, right? Am I right?!)