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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While waiting for a table at Death & Co., we walked down the street to find what looked like a store specializing in stocking all manners of Bittermen’s Bitters for sale and for drink. The bar space is extremely small, but it ensures that you will never be far from the knowledgeable bartenders or the expansive array of traditional bitter liqueurs behind the bar.
What’s Good: The house made vermouth that comes from a tap behind the bar. I would recommend drinking it on its own, and then trying it in a classic beverage such as the Negroni. It is truly fantastic. The cocktail menu has many unique creations worth trying as well. The Orchard Street Celery Soda is a cocktail that you will not find anywhere else.
Amor Y Amargo also has small plates of food (which are good because of all of the digestion stimulating beverages you’ll be drinking, you’re sure to be hungry) which are generally quite good.
What’s New: In writing this review, I just learned that they actually offer classes for bitters appreciation and cocktail techniques.
Best Nights: Any time
Best Drink on the Menu: House made Vermouth
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The other day I reviewed Bols Genever and I compared it to whiskey due to its almost malty complexity. So I decided to put it to work with the rest of my Manhattan equipment.
Setting the Scene and the Recipe: My current supplies include a classic and reasonably priced vermouth. Currently I’m using Martini & Rossi. There’s nothing wrong with Angoustra bitters, but I love the Bitter Truth’s Orange bitters. Instead of Rye or Bourbon, I used Bols Genever. I mixed them together using the classic recipe (5 parts Genever, 2 parts vermouth and a dash of bitters).
Bols Genever held up very well in a Manhattan. I think the orange bitters worked better with the subtle hints of gin-like citrus underneath the richness. The vermouth was good, but I think a richer, and perhaps more herbal vermouth (perhaps Vya?) might have worked better. Though I can’t tell you for sure, this is a cocktail I will try again, and perhaps tinker with it. I’m thinking next time, a perfect Manhattan, which brings in the dry vermouth as well.
Author’s Note: This is technically very similar to a Martinez.
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