Friday, June 6, 2014

Negroni Week Beckons You Until June 8

Enter Bar Now (or make one of these at home)

 This Whitish Negroni — on the rocks — sparkles with white vermouth and, of course, Campari and gin.

The following Negroni variations originated from other fellow travelers’ books and bars. Each is distinct but embraces the arresting flavors of the original and is perfect for these final days of Negroni Week, the seven-day celebration of the famous cocktail and all its variations. Remember, participating bars across America and other parts of the globe promise to raise money for their favorite charities for every Negroni-style cocktail ordered. If you cannot make it to a bar by Sunday, then by all means have a Negroni-style cocktail at home.

White Negroni
(from Dutch Kills, Queens, NY)

Suze, pronounced like siz, but with a French rounded vowel sound (think Inspector Clouseau), is an aperitif flavored with the bitter roots of the gentian plant. If you try it on its own, it is sweet, as well. It is not for everyone, but is definitely worth a try if you see some behind the bar. Ask your bartender to pour you a sip. In the White Negroni, white vermouth, red vermouth’s milder cousin, rounds out the flavors of gin mixed with Suze in this boozy concoction. Its layered flavors end with a nice bitter finish.

1 1/2 ounces gin (we used Beefeater)
3/4 ounce Suze (a bittersweet gentian aperitif)
3/4 ounce Dolin white vermouth (aka bianco, blanc, blanco)
lemon twist, as garnish

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Recipe reprinted from Imbibe Magazine.

Whitish Negroni
(created by Cocktail Buzz)

Since we’re big fans of Campari, we decided to do a riff on the White Negroni. But there’s nothing white about this cocktail. It’s actually a gorgeous pink–orange. Its smooth, slightly sweet, and layered flavors (think Aperol) pair perfectly with bacon-wrapped unsulfured dried apricots and a little sage leaf.

1 ounce Beefeater gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Dolin white vermouth (aka bianco, blanc, blanco)
lemon twist, as garnish

Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe. Add garnish.

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These next two cocktails are from two books from which we have made drinks over the years and are perfect for the warming months ahead:

Mistaken Negroni
(from The New Old Bar by Steve McDonough and Dan Smith)

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce orange juice
sparkling wine or Prosecco
orange peel, as garnish

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Serve garnished with a flamed orange peel. [Express orange peel through a match flame by holding the match over the drink and, with your other hand, in one quick, sharp squeeze, pinch the peel (outside of peel facing the match) so the oils spurt through the flame, causing a gentle flare-up.]

Grapefruit Negroni
(from Sips & Apps by Kathy Casey)

1/4 large red grapefruit
1 1/2 ounces gin (we used Death’s Door)
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Campari
small grapefruit wedge, as garnish
ice, if on the rocks

Squeeze the grapefruit into a cocktail shaker and discard the squeezed fruit. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the gin, vermouth, and Campari. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass or an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with small grapefruit wedge.

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So, when all is said and done, you don’t like gin. This is okay. One person’s taste buds differ from the next. here’s something that may stir your whiskey-loving loins:

Red Hook
(created by Enzo Errico, Milk & Honey, New York City)

2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce Punt e Mes vermouth
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Recipe reprinted from Imbibe Magazine.

To find out how to make a Punt e Mes Negroni, click here.

photos © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

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