Articles Tagged: negroni

Cocktails

Jello Shots with Gin: The Negroni

We continue our series on Jello Shots w/gin [made by my friend Laura] with the one that I was most excited about: The Negroni.  The Negroni shots were not a huge hit, as oddly the intersection between those who were most enthusiastic about Jello shots did not intersect with those most enthusiastic about Negronis.

The Ingredients:

(water) (orange zest) (gelatin) 1/3 cup Campari 1/3 cup sweet italian red vermouth 1/3 cup Pinckney Bend Gin

Ingredients in the Negroni jelly shot: Orange (to be zested), sweet red vermouth, gelatin, gin, campari (in a cup, because Aaron provided it), cookbook.

A layer of Negroni shots. Now, lets mix them up:

Overall, I thought they were excellent. Taste remarkably close to a Negroni. Good amount of bitterness from the Campari and a hint of gin flavor. Well balanced. Better than expected, and without the saccharine sweetness I was expecting from my favorite drink committed to the medium of gelatin.

Again, a special thanks to my friend Laura who made the shots and took all of the pictures. They were all wonderful, and I know at all future parties where to turn for fantastic jello shots that don’t remind you one bit of the ones you might have seen in college.

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Cocktails

Which Gin works best in Which Cocktail [re-version, July 2012]

A few years ago (and with a much more limited scope of gin experience!) I took a first shot at trying to figure out which gins worked best in a series of classic gin cocktails. Since that initial attempt, I have tried more gins than I can even attempt to count, and I’ve been waiting for the chance to revise my initial list and offer a more nuanced take on how gin works in each of these cocktails.

These cocktails have become my “canon” for reviewing a gin. They’re the old-standbys, the familiar friends whose ingredients I always have in stock. They’re the cocktails that you can go into any bar with its salt and order (perhaps the lone exception in my cabinet may be the “Last Word,” but I digress. The cocktails in the Gin Cocktail Canon are: The Gin and Tonic, Tom Collins, Gimlet,  Negroni, Aviation, Martini and The Last Word. All are fine cocktails and all worthy uses of your gin. But with so many new contemporary gins out there and bold experiments on the classic London Dry out there, it is no longer safe to assume that all gins are created equal.

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Cocktails

What do I drink for? Euro 2012!

This might be one of those rare moment where those who follow me for my “American Perspective” might be rather thrown off.

I [like many others] have been watching the Euro 2012 tournament and I [like many others] have been enjoying a satisfying adult beverage while watching said games. But here’s the question: what should I have to quaff while watching? And most importantly, I don’t want to be drinking the same thing as the supporters of the French side, especially not when I’m cheering on Sweden.

If you Support Germany, the favorites at this point…. In your case you want something that fits your position. You’re clearly the favorites, so you can take it easy- but not too easy. Right? So you need an effortless cocktail. For you I’m going to recommend a Negroni, a cocktail surely befitting a tournament favorite. But wait, you shouldn’t take that with just any gin. How about Schlichte, the only gin to be a protected regional style in Germany. Go with a 1:1:1 ratio of Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Campari and enjoy the games.

Are you supporting the French in the Euro Quarters?

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Gin Reviews

Bombay Sapphire East

bombay east

 Let’s start at the very beginning. I was taught at a young age that it the most logical, and perhaps “best,” place to start.

There once was a time in my life where gin at the bar was limited to the standards. The junipers. The burning sensation of a foreign beverage. One I didn’t quite understand. It may have been my predilection for the color blue. It may have been pure chance, that my eye, wandered to that shelf in the back and saw the blue bottle- faintly illuminated from the back-bar lights. It was Bombay Sapphire. and it was my first true taste of a gin that made me want to come back for more. I did learn to appreciate, and yes even love, the other colors, the other names and other brands. But Bombay Sapphire does hold a special place in my gin loving heart. And that is why when I heard that Bombay Sapphire East was going to be test-launched here in New York City (along with Las Vegas) I knew I had to try it immediately.

Back to the Present

I saw the bottle at Astor Place Wines and Spirits last Friday and bough it.

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Cocktails

Negroni Week: The Awards

As I’ve talked at length about Negronis both this week and over the course of the nearly 2 year history of this blog. So I thought, why not declare some of my favorites.

Best Individual Negroni (at a bar): The Winter Negroni at Raines Law Room. (written about in June 2011)

The cocktails on the menu rotate seasonally, so I wouldn’t expect to walk in there and order this drink today. In fact, although I wrote about this in June, I first sampled this delightful cocktail in Spring of this year. The point of difference that made this cocktail stand out was limited edition Beefeater’s Winter Edition gin, with nutmeg and citrus which caused it to really stand out. But also the expert preparation and the full-glass circular ice cubes that Raines’ Law Room uses.

Best Place to Order a Negroni (any Negroni): Amor Y Amargo(written about July 2011)

Between the housemade Vermouth, the wide array of Amaros and an expert selection of classic gin this might be one of the best places I know to order a Negroni. The wide diversity in ingredients, which most bars treat as a specialty item and have perhaps one kind of vermouth; one kind of bitters.

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Cocktails

Negroni Week w/ Old Raj

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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Cocktails

Negroni Week: w/ Caorunn Gin

This week at the Gin is in, I am saluting one of my favorite cocktails: the Negroni. And I begin with one a gin which I think is a bold newcomer on the scene, Scotland’s Caorunn gin. For those of you that haven’t had Caorunn (and without spoiling the forthcoming review) it features five Celtic botanicals among which is Coul Blush Apple. Its a remarkable subtle gin, but an extremely enjoyable one. I really wanted to put it to the test to see how it stood up in one of the boldest gin cocktails around.

Some background on the liquor choices. I chose Vya Vermouth as my brand because it is among my favorites. It has a sweet, acidic tone, with bold peaks of herbal notes. I think it compliments the almost cloying sweetness of the Campari. I chose original Campari because I don’t think any Amari quite brings the same combination of sweet and bitter palate cleansing as the original. It’s an essential ingredient in a Negroni, and although I’ve seen some cocktail bars deviate and use other Amari, Campari is the measuring stick for “what makes a good Negroni.”

How does Caorunn Gin stand up to the flavors of the Negroni?

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Other Thoughts

Negroni Week: Music Fridays!

Although Negronis have conquered the cocktail bar, they have struggled to make it into modern music. Nevertheless, I’m combed the internet for the best songs that make reference to the Negroni.

First we start with an Indie Rock band called Lybido from Rome, Italy.

Though I’m hardly an Italian scholar, it seems that the final lyric of the song makes reference to throwing away our beloved Negroni:

The next Negroni related music video comes from Italian pop sensation Eleonora Crupi. The first lyric to her song sets the stage (again roughly translated) “I can’t remember a thing, probably because of drinking too many Negronis.”

Some Aspirin for your hangover? Eleonora, we’ve all been there.

Finally, I leave you with a jazz number from the Negroni’s Trio. No mention of the drink in the song, and I think it’s important to point out that Negroni is the last name of pianist and composer Jose Negroni who heads up the trio- I include it as an honorable mention, because for some reason jazz and Negroni cocktails just seem to go together in my head.

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Cocktails

Negroni week w/ Tru2

Tru2 Gin is a bold gin.  It shares a lot in common with herbal liqueurs. It has a complex and very strong taste, capable of overwhelming nearly any cocktail ingredients. So how did it fare against the strongest of strong ingredients in one of the strongest of gin cocktails?

Fairly well is the answer. Although I was not crazy about this gin as a standard gin because it didn’t work well w/ Tonic, it didn’t work at all in a Tom Collins, and didn’t play nice in an Aviation (you see where I’m going with this). But the strong bouquet of herbs in here, actually works well with Vermouth and can go toe-to-toe with Campari and not back down. I think what’s really interesting about this choice in gin is that it transforms the cocktail almost as much as you can without swapping out one of the ingredients in a straight-up substitution. The Campari balances the strong notes of Coriander and I think the fennel notes really come through and shine here. The clove which is almost overpowering when sipped straight plays nicely and almost adds a sweetness to the drink.

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