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Danny Hawaii

Negroni

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This one was a tough one to get right for me, mostly due to the overwhelming bitterness of the Campari. The standard recipe just doesn't plain work for me.

 

Still, I tried one at a cocktail bar the other week and loved it, and have been trying ever since to replicate the same taste that impressed me so much. After much trial and error, here's my recipe:

 

Put a couple of big rocks in a rocks glass and let it cool while you build the drink.

 

1 shot Plymouth gin

3/4 shot Rosso Antico sweet vermouth (more herbal than your typical vermouth--the photo has Cinzano instead)

1/4 shot Campari

1 dash simple syrup

2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

 

Stir with plenty of ice, strain into the rocks glass. No need for garnish.

 

Goes down silky and sweet, but not overpoweringly so, with just that hint of a bitter finish.

 

2921646706_51e89cb5b3.jpg

 

I'm finding myself becoming more and more fascinated with vermouth, sweet vermouth in particular. I thought I liked the Cinzano Rosso until I tried the Rosso Antico, so I can only wonder what something like Carpano Antica will do to my taste buds.

 

I got shivers just dreaming about it.

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If you want to try something with Campari that is a bit sweeter, try the Jasmine. Once again, you may want to put a touch less Campari in than the recipe calls for. The Cointreau takes the edge off though. Properly made it really does taste like grapefruit juice, interesting!

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The Negroni is probably my second favorite cocktail behind the Sazerac. I'm not sure which recipe your version is based on, but I see three things that could improve it, especially seeing that like me, you're more sensitive to the bitterness.

 

The classic recipe is:

 

1 oz gin

1 oz sweet vermouth

1 oz Campari

Garnish with orange peel.

 

The standard amount of Campari is a bit much for me too sometimes, so depending on where my palate is at, I'll cut back to 1/2 to 3/4 oz.

 

So, the first thing I'd do would be to leave out the Peychaud's.

Second, increase the amount of vermouth. Try Noilly-Pratt if they have it there.

Third: don't skip the garnish! It's an important part of the chemistry. The orange oils are very sweetening.

 

Try this: get a good, fresh, firm orange. Slice a medallion off of the peel, about 2 inches in diameter. Light a match, and squeeze the peel in half over the drink—orange side out—with two fingers, expressing the orange oils from the peel, through the flame, onto the surface of the drink. Roasted orange. Yum.

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Seek out a brief article about the Negroni in the most recent Sunday New York Times, in the Sunday Styles section.

 

It mentions a "boskier" rendition substituting Cynar for the Campari. I have tried a variant on this of my own invention in the past, but mine is different enough to not be considered - by me, at least - a Negroni, and is probably unnamed:

 

1 oz. Plymouth Gin

1 oz. Dry Vermouth

1 oz. Cynar

dash peach bitters

 

This drink is very bitter and dry without the peach bitters.

 

Imagine switching out the Plymouth and bringing in pungent, malty Genever. The beast could be too surly to approach!

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If you swap out the gin for aquavit and the vermouth for dry sherry, what you have there—including the peach bitters—is a DrinkBoy concoction called the Trident. Another one of my faves.

 

If you then swap out the sherry for Maraschino liqueur and forget to use the peach bitters, you have an unnamed thing that for months I thought was a Trident, because I confused the memorized recipe with something else, probably a Last Word. Still good though.

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Imagine switching out the Plymouth and bringing in pungent, malty Genever. The beast could be too surly to approach!

Fo sho. Genever and dry vermouth are famous for not playing well together, and adding Cynar to that mixture would not only be nothing like a Negroni, I can only imagine it would also be nothing like a potable cocktail.

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You may also be able to switch the Campari with Aperol (sometimes referred to as Campari light).

 

And yet another fabulous variation is to take the traditional recipe and switch the Gin with Bourbon or Rye, thus creating a Boulevardier. Yum!

 

:arrr:

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I'll definitely have to try these variations this weekend. I'm such a sucker for throwing bitters in a cocktail even if it doesn't have a useful effect. It just makes me feel like I'm cooking. ;)

 

And now that I have a bottle of St. Germain, I wonder if I can make a St. Negroni somehow (probably not)?

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the Negroni is one of my all time favourites too but I have to agree with Hiram here recipe wise. Any variation on Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari is not a Negroni. Varying the ratio is ok, I guess, but I like it at the traditional equal parts. It definitely does not need bitters added like a traditional cocktail and I think the sugar and bitterness in the Campari combined with the gin and water (ice) meets the criteria for a Cocktail.

 

I like to order it at a bar because it is easy for the bartender to make and dosent take the time it takes to explain a "Don't give up the Ship" or a "Bardstown Sling."

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Well, I just stumbled on this old thread, and I was surprised to see so many people reducing the amount of Campari to reduce bitterness. When I first read about the Negroni (in one of those free magazines the liquor stores send you, I think) they suggested a small splash of orange juice for this purpose, and implied that this was not offensive to traditionalists. Some soda water was also suggested as a pleasant way to make it a nice summertime cooler. (Kind of makes it a strong Americano.) Both work fine for me, but I never realized they were NOT part of the traditional recipe.

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I like my negroni to be the pretty standard 1:1:1 ratio. Maybe occasionally a tweak here or there if the vermouth is of a low quality.

 

One of the things I love about the cocktail (and the high amounts of vermouth and Campari) is that it is a fantastic cocktail for burying the flavor of a less than stellar gin. Gin is such a bit player in a negroni, that you can get away with putting murderously cheap gin in it, so long as the vermouth is of sufficient quality.

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FYI, was speaking with Matt Hamlin from 'A Jigger of a Blog' last night, and he was telling me of a technique he picked up while on the West Coast. He bought a used cash from Tuthulltown and is making barrel aged Negronis. Basically, mix up the cocktail (a lot of it), then pour the whole thing into the cask. Let it age for 5-6 weeks and you have an unbelievably smooth Negroni where the brusqueness is toned down and is replaced with some great flavors imparted by the cask.

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In Luis Bunuel's autobiography, he mentions his "Bunueloni", which is a Negroni with Carpano instead of Campari. I have always wanted to try this.

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>Dropping it in Ale sounds fantastic, Peter.

 

It is, used as a substitute for Amer Picon in a Picon-Bière, or anything made with Amer Picon...

 

>When's it coming out? I've been jonesing for more since Tales last year!

 

It's on the water, so about a month...already allocated, for the most part...

 

>A classic Negroni...made with Voyager Gin

 

I would say even better than 'classic', with also the substitution of Carpano Antica for regular sweet vermouth...

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The Gran Classico was released on Friday in San Francisco and will start working its way out of state...

 

Another Negroni version, I have a feeling there will be lots of experimentation...

 

Negroni d’Or

 

1 1/2 oz. G' Vine Nouasion gin

1/2 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth

1/2 oz. Gran Classico Bitter

Stir ingredients gently with ice and strain into a chilled sherry glass.

 

Created by Brian MacGregor

Jardiniere, San Francisco

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Works for me. It will be great to have a bottle (or two) at the distillery so we can showcase it along with the Voyager to the bars and restaurants that visit us.

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