Tonight's Negroni #1: Make it a double (it saves the trip back to the kitchen)

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:

  1. Add two king size ice cubes to a large rocks glass.
  2. Measure each ingredient into the glass. (I pour them in the above order because it helps keep my little measuring cup from getting sticky.)
  3. Give it a stir.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?!)