Negroni (a cocktail for grown ups)

If you know me and Monika, you must know that we’re huge fans of gin.  Gin is the kind of alcohol you don’t even encounter as a kid, despise in your weening years, and learn to love as your tastes mature (only maybe, like maybe you’ll end up liking scotch, or cigars, or caviar).

In any case, if you do learn to like gin, you learn to like martinis.  Not that crap bullshit they call a martini cause they dumped Stoli and cranberry into a martini glass.  I mean, you actually appreciate the gin distiller who  carefully flavored his product with the right blend of botanicals so that the taste is perfect as is…neat…chilled…unadulterated.

delicious flowers

That’s the way we like our martinis.  Sure, you can add some dry vermouth, maybe a generous splash of olive brine, or even get out there and saddle up a cocktail onion to make a Gibson.  But, sooner or later, it’s nice  to get a bit more  adventurous with your cocktails.

to make a Gibson, make a martini, but use an onion, not a olive

So, my gin loving friends, I highly recommend the following drink, which is basically a Negroni.  Though little known in the modern cocktail revolution, this is the kind of drink that defines a real drinking man or woman.  It’s bitter, potent and all business.

Prepare a Martini glass by filling with ice and topping with water and setting  aside.

In a shaker or mixer, combine the following:

2 oz. Gin (the dryer the better.  Bombay is good.  New Amsterdam is not)

1 oz. Campari (This is some bitter stuff, and is in the family of Benedictine, Chartreuse, Cynar, etc., the weird digestifs category)

1 splash Sweet Vermouth ( a splash is about a teaspoon or so)

a few dashes of Bitters ( a dash, a shake, a drop, it’s all about the same.  I use Fee Brothers, but Angostrua is great, too)

Swirl the contents over the ice, but do not shake.  Shaking is a sin.  Don’t believe the 007 bullshit.  Bond was originally written to be a kind of gruff, un-savvy individual.  Don’t shake.  Just don’t.  If you like the little ice crystals in your drink, you like watered down drinks, not fine alcohol.  Do me  a favor…stick with Smirnoff Ice.  Flavored malt liquor seems more your speed.

Okay, strain the “shaker” into the emptied, icey martini glass and enjoy.  If you’d like to garnish, use a nice sweet opposite like an orange wheel.  It’ll help wash your palate clean so the flavors really burst again when you take another sip.  Not for the weak livered.  Enjoy!

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