Dolin’s Rouge is one of my favorite varieties of sweet Vermouth. It tastes thicker than Martini & Rossi. It is lighter than most other Vermouths, and I think makes it an excellent counterpoint to the a thick full bodied Campari (but more on that later). Dolin has a strong bouquet reminiscent of caramel and dried fruit, but unlike many sweet Vermouths it isn’t exceptionally sweet. Its well balanced with sufficient complexity as a good dessert wine ought to have. It has a palette cleansing bitterness at the end, which makes it ideal as an aperitif and a Vermouth in true aperitif fashion (and perhaps ideal for an aperitif cocktail). Although I’ve expressed preference for Vya in the past, I want to say that Dolin Rouge is a very near second.
Old Raj’s 110 proof is a strong and flavorful gin. Warm, Silky, and almost luxurious tasting as a result of the Safron that has been added to the mix. I tend to be biased towards stronger gins in the Negroni, because of the opinionated and strong co-stars in this cocktail.
For this Negroni, as the Dolin Rouge brings flavor, but not the thickness of some other Vermouths, the trick is to thicken up the Campari.
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Aaron’s Note: Please excuse this re-post. This isn’t something we normally do around here, but seeing as how this week we’re covering the Negroni cocktail in depth, I felt it worthwhile to re-post this blog post I did earlier this year on the delicious and stimulating cocktail (with a few new editorial comments) Cheers!
Generally the Negroni is considered a “pre-dinner” drink. The bitters, often Campari is designed to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Apertifs and Digestifs in particular are more common in Italian culture; therefore the reputed origin of the Negroni- say Florence, Italy, somewhere around 1919?
Regardless of origin, this drink is classic; however uncommon it may be. In its most general form a Negroni consists of gin (surprise, surprise!), sweet red vermouth, and a bitters/campari. Though in theory an alternative like Cynar could be used, most cocktailians seem to agree that this is a drink for Campari. Though other variations exist, I don’t know if I would call them a true Negroni.
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The Negroni sounds like a cocktail out of movie. Our scene begins in France.
General Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni was a hero in the Franco-Prussian war; a decorated general who served for over 40 years in French military service. After the military? He had a fairly uninteresting life working as a Rodeo Cowboy in the United States.
Anyway, the eponymous cocktail is so called because the Count requested that his local bartender replace the club soda in an American w/ some Gin. For those of you unfamiliar with the Americano, or the Milano-Torino as it was called in the Count’s days, it is an official IBA Cocktail- and if I may comment- one that I’ve never seen anyone order outside of the James Bond movies:
1 part Campari
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1 part club soda
Serve on the rocks with an orange/lemon garnish
What happens when you replace the Club Soda w/ gin? First and foremost, it goes from footnote in the IBA manual to subject matter for this blog. But most importantly, it adds an element of spice. Juniper is a spectacular compliment to the herbs and bitters of the Americano cocktail.
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