Friday, January 17, 2014

bitter stripper

30 mL Plymouth Gin (1 1/2 oz Martin Miller)
20 mL Dolin Blanc Vermouth (1 oz)
10 mL Salers Gentian Liqueur (1/2 oz)
5 mL Cointreau (1/4 oz)

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. Note: I increased the volumes by 1.5x when converting (30 mL is about the same as an ounce).

After the Duke of Marlborough, I decided to reach for Gary Regan's The Negroni for my next drink. The one that grabbed me, both for the ingredients and the name, was the Bitter Stripper. Dee Allen of 399 in Perth, Australia, created this drink with the idea of making a clear Negroni variation that eschews sweet vermouth and Campari. Of course blanc vermouth for sweet is an obvious swap, and the combination of bitterness from the gentian liqueur and the orange notes from the Cointreau seem to make sense for the Campari. Indeed, the extra orange notes take the 2002 vintage White Negroni a step further. The gin component was left intact, and for a spirit choice, I opted for Martin Miller's gin for earlier that day I had learned of Miller's death. So cheers to Martin for leading such an amazing life!
The Bitter Stripper's orange twist presented bright citrus notes over the bitter, earthy gentian aroma. A sweet citrussy wine sip gave way to a swallow that began with juniper and gentian and ended with an orange finish. Clearly a different set of flavor components save for the gin, but the overall feel of the cocktail was definitely akin to a classic Negroni.

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