So in case you haven't been following on Twitter for the past 6 days, it's the third annual Negroni Week! The Negroni: Campari, sweet vermouth and gin. Simple, classic, the bitter progenitor of dozens of Renaissance cocktails (including my own The Doe's Path). And I've got a fresh little riff-ditty (maybe two, we'll see how tomorrow goes) to say about that. (I'm thinking yes, I could use several Negronis the way work's been this week)
Originally an impromptu from before there were Impromptus here, this recipe's now refined with a little help from my new Burlesque bitters. The Negroni itself is a marvel of 3 herbaceous ingredients each working at different levels to create an energetic whole. When working with less-than-herbaceous ingredients, it's not a bad idea to yet find ways to introduce texture with the ingredients, such as a spicy rye whiskey or grassy agricole rhum or bitters with different bittering agents and flavor notes, to keep that energy moving.
3/4 oz cognac (Remy Martin VSOP)
3/4 oz rhum agricole blanc (Neisson)
3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge
1/2 oz Campari
1/4 oz Crème Yvette
2 dashes Peychaud's or Burlesque bitters
1 Meyer lemon twist
Stir, strain, garnish.
With a floral-thyme Meyer and grassy agricole nose to start, you find yourself on steep descent into velvet violet-lush bitterness. Grape spirits round the body, and the combination of cognac and rhum agricole is a somewhat rare one which reminds me of a refined gilded quality (maybe it's the Neisson bottle cap talking?). Finishes with grape and bitter.
The 1/2 oz of Campari is a high-water-mark: use that much if both base spirits you're using are overproof otherwise dial down to as low as 1/4 oz. (2 tsp is about right using the brands in the recipe)