Friday, 18 April 2014

Consuming Cocktails: Negroni w. Antica Formula

If there is anything that competes with my beauty obsession it is most certainly my love of good food and delicious drinks. It's only fair then that my other love gets its own little corner on my blog. I'm kicking off my new Consuming Cocktails feature with my all time favourite classic cocktail: The Negroni.



Ingredients:

  • Gin - go for a gin with a clean finish and not too many botanicals - I prefer Beefeater.
  • Sweet Vermouth - the basic choice is Martini Rosso but I'm using Carpano Antica Formula and I can't emphasise enough how much it elevates this drink. It is seriously worth the slightly added effort of tracking it down to make a killer Negroni.
  • Campari
  • 1 Orange

Tools:

  • Shot glass & Serving glass
  • Swizzle spoon/stirrer
  • A large cubed ice tray
  • Small paring knife

Method: 


Ice: Some bars prefer to stir a Negroni with ice before pouring into a cooled glass sans ice to serve. The alternative I'll use here is to use a large block of crystal clear ice in the drink itself. This obviously keeps it cold but also melts much less quickly than regular ice cubes, saving your Negroni from the risk of becoming watered down. Finally, if you've ever been to a cocktail bar that uses large hand-cut ice, you'll know that a giant cube is also just pretty cool.

To get your ice crystal clear (rather than having that cloudy/white interior most regular ice sports) start with either filtered water or even better distilled, and boil => cool => boil => cool, before filling your ice trays. In this case I'm using a jumbo perfect cube silicone tray. This process removes the impurities and air that make ice appear cloudy. You can see mine isn't perfect thanks to the heavily mineralized Danish water, so distilled really would be my best bet.

Preparation: Making a Negroni is super simple, so the quality of your spirits is really the key. A classic Negroni uses equal parts, so it's really about equal proportion rather than size. I'm using 1 standard shot of each spirit, poured over my ice. Stir briefly with a swizzle spoon if you have one, otherwise a spoon or knife will do just fine.

Garnish: Using a paring knife, slice around the circumference of the orange so you have a long piece of orange rind for each drink. We want as little of the bitter pith (the white part) as possible, so if your cut is too thick just turn it over and slice as much of the underside as possible whilst preserving the peel. The flavour here is really coming from the orange oils within the skin so twist the peel over each glass, before rubbing the surface around the rim of the glass and dropping the peel in your Negroni.

This drink is perfect as an apertif or for sipping in winter and summer alike. If you try it out, send me a picture on twitter or instagram and let me know what you think!

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