Sunday, July 14, 2019

watermelon negroni

(a.) 1 oz Campari
1 oz Watermelon Juice
(b.) 1 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Martini Grand Lusso)

Freeze the Campari and watermelon juice (2 cubes, will not completely freeze solid) in advance. Add the cubes, gin, and vermouth to a rocks glass, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Since it was the last night of Negroni Week and I was still on my watermelon kick, I searched for "watermelon Negroni" and found a recipe from food writer Alton Brown. I modified the recipe to be equal parts of the four ingredients as well as altering the preparation. I was bothered that I could not get my Campari-watermelon ice cubes to look as solid as Alton's, so I did the math. With Campari and watermelon being 22° and 7.8° Brix, respectively, that averaged out to around 15° Brix for the mixture; American Campari (yes, we get a lower proof than Europe) is 24% ABV, so that averaged out to 12% ABV for the combination. As I learned at Daren Swisher's frozen drinks class, the perfect alcoholic slushee will be between 12-15° Brix and 12-15% ABV; hence, solid cubes would not physically be possible at standard freezer temperatures. I was okay with the cubes being semi-solid for it provided an adequate amount of cooling with no additional dilution (the only dilution of the Negroni was by the watermelon juice). Also, this caused me to ask my wife if Alton was one of those food writers that tell you that caramelized onions take only 10 minutes to prepare.
My version of the Watermelon Negroni donated lemon oil over a fruity nose. Next, the vermouth's grape paired up with the watermelon on the sip, and the swallow proffered the gin and the intriguing melding of watermelon with Campari's bitter orange to make an almost watermelon candy-like flavor.


pdxcocktails said...

My current freezer has a digital temperature setting; I'm not sure what "standard" is. I've got it set a bit cold (1°F) so food lasts longer. But I first set it that cold (when we moved in, I think it was 19°F) one hot summer when I was making some sort of alcoholic slushie and needed it. OK, couldn't resist a search - everyone is recommending 0°F standard freezer temp now.

Alton Brown does have a caramelized onions recipe (for the microwave!)

frederic said...

When I last recorded it during my glass chilling experiment, it was 5.9°F. That was a few years ago so it could have shifted.

When I worked in biochemistry labs, we referred to the freezer of that type as "the -20" (Celsius) which is -4°F. Not sure we calibrated it but that's what we called it opposed to "the -80" (Celsius) for long term storage and for saving tissue culture cells and bacteria (with a cryo-preservative) for years.