Wednesday, June 21, 2017

caustic negroni

1 oz Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch
1/2 oz Amaro Sfumato
1/2 oz Averna
1 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1 bsp Vanilla Syrup

Build in a rocks glass, add ice, stir to mix and chill, and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Two Wednesdays ago, I was invited to do a guest bartending shift at Backbar as a book launch party for my Boston Cocktails: Drunk & Told. For the night, I assembled a 7 drink menu of personal creations ranging from 2013 to present that do not currently reside on a formal menu. When the Backbar staff asked if I wanted to put a "dealer's choice" option on the menu, I replied that they were going to do it anyways so perhaps we should save on the ink and space. During the night, one of the guests at a table asked a server for "something like a Negroni but kind of caustic," and that server asked if I could actuate on that request. My mind immediately jumped to Sfumato that was already in one of my drinks, and Sfumato's similarity to Zucca made me think of a Scotch pairing such as in the Zucca Hour. Sweet vermouth and Averna helped to soften the combination, but the drink felt a little flat. To give the drink a touch of roundness, I opted for a barspoon of vanilla syrup.
I later made the drink for two other people that night, and then posted it on Instagram. There, I was questioned "Is this not however stretching the very definition of the word Negroni?" I replied, "The White Negroni using Suze Gentian Liqueur did that about a decade ago. It is in the style of a Negroni though: an Americano (which isn't necessarily a Campari drink but a class of anaro-vermouth-soda drinks) with the soda substituted for spirit." I also ran into a similar feud that week when I posted the Negroni on Saturn on Reddit.

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