Muh-Muh-Muh My Negroni

First, my apologies to the Knack for badly appropriating their one and only hit...

But anyway, the Negroni . . .venerable, iconic, on the rocks, served up, loved and worshipped, hated and contortion-inducing. . . there's just no coming down the middle on this one. So allow me, on this Mixology Monday, to add another layer of division.

Proportions are law for the Negroni. So says none other than one of our best and most beloved drinks writers, Gary Regan who, in the Joy of Mixology, says something to the effect that the proportions should be beyond tinkering. I'm going to go ahead and point out that the Negroni itself is a variation on the Americano.... ptttttttt. So let's go ahead and mess with this poor old venerable bastard.

I like Campari, and given that my taste buds are dead, I need to be hit on the head with flavor in my drinks. I like 'em rich and heavy, so delicate nuances are lost on me. Here's what I do. . .

Keith's Negroni Variation
1 ½ oz Campari (yup, that's right)
¾ oz Beefeater Gin
¾ oz Vya Italian Vermouth (I'm currently toying with Punt é Mes also. Verdict is still out)
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters (gotta make it up to Gary somehow)

I figured if you ordered a Negroni, you've got a taste for Campari like I do, adding a little orange bitters just adds even more to the party. Vya is nice and rich. That's the Negroni I like to drink.

Turns out I'm not alone. Murray Stenson at Zig Zag makes his pretty much the same way, which is a nice little rubber stamp. And guess who else? Well, in his book New Classic Cocktails, Gary Regan (!) himself shows what an adaptable man he is by including The Cinnabar Negroni, which I have recently discovered is pretty much the same variation Murray and I do, among the chosen few in that book. And I have to add that of all the cocktails we make at Union, and I make quite a few, I get more compliments on this Negroni than any other drink we make. I don't know what that means, but there you have it....

Jimmy, great idea for a MM event. Cheers everyone, see at the party...


Dr. Bamboo said...

I'm definitely going to try this. I've got a little Vya lying around, and I recently got some Regan's.

Viva Variation!