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Al_Dente

An Ideal Negroni

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"There's no rum in the Negroni. No brandy. No tequila. No smoke. No foams. There's no such thing as a Rum Negroni. Nor a Brandy Negroni, Bourbon Negroni or Tequila Negroni. These drinks have their own names, their own place in history, and they don't need to piggy-back on the popularity of the Negroni to gain recognition..."

To read more click here ---> The Negroni is a simple drink

Six things I have learnt since posting the Negroni article last night;

1. People really don't like it should you make any form of negative comment about Antica Formula, even if you do sing its praises at the same time. Thankfully I deleted the line about it being "Bartender's Ketchup," that would have really got their back up.

2. Some find it difficult to differentiate between opinion and fact. I like opinions, I have my own, but when fact shows our opinion is wrong then...

3. Tegroni, Cuervoni, Negrita, Agavoni, Jalisconi, Mexiconi and Margaroni are just some of the drink names being suggested I should research if I'm attempting to find a reference for a cocktail containing tequila, vermouth and Campari that pre-dates Gary Regan's Rosita that he unearthed in the late 80s. I'm not going to waste our time as these names prove the underlying point I make in the piece, Rosita it is.

4. A lot of people agree with me about the Old Pal and the Boulevardier. The former isn't that good, the latter is superb. I hazard to guess the Old Pal only gets so much attention because it contains a fashionable ingredient in rye whiskey. Save it for your Manhattan. Or Dizzy Sour.

5. A number of people have agreed I used to be adorable. I don't know what happened.

6. Those that clicked horse liked it.


Edited by evo-lution (log)

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A few comments. The Negroni happens to be one of my favorite drinks.

The Negroni is a simple drink

...it contains dry gin, Campari and Italian vermouth (of the sweet variety).

What about orange bitters? I always use a mix of Regan's and Angostura orange bitters in mine.

1. People really don't like it should you make any form of negative comment about Antica Formula, even if you do sing its praises at the same time. Thankfully I deleted the line about it being "Bartender's Ketchup," that would have really got their back up.

My favorite sweet vermouth in a Negroni is currently Dolin red. But that is not to say that Carpano Antica is awful in a Negroni, it's just not the best fit for this drink as it's too assertive as you discussed in your post. Oviously it's a matter of taste.

I remember reading this short piece in the New York Times about the negroni, where Gabrielle Hamilton explains that in Italy she uses "Cinzano and Martini Rosso because they are sold most prevalently" and Noilly Prat in New York, but does not recommend Dolin (she does not explain why). And in winter she prefers Carpano Antica because "because it’s softer, mellower, with a slight vanilla taste — which sounds gross but it softens the drink a bit". I also disagree with her comments on the gin selection - I love Junipero gin in a Negroni.

3. Tegroni, Cuervoni, Negrita, Agavoni, Jalisconi, Mexiconi and Margaroni are just some of the drink names being suggested I should research if I'm attempting to find a reference for a cocktail containing tequila, vermouth and Campari that pre-dates Gary Regan's Rosita that he unearthed in the late 80s. I'm not going to waste our time as these names prove the underlying point I make in the piece, Rosita it is.

Aren't these different drinks? The Rosita cocktail replaces the gin with tequila, orange bitters with Angostura, but also adds dry vermouth to the recipe. The Agavoni, for example, simply replaces gin with tequila in the Negroni recipe.

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What about orange bitters? I always use a mix of Regan's and Angostura orange bitters in mine.

There's no additional bitters in a Negroni but as with all drinks you make/take it how you want it, if you feel the need to add a few dashes of bitters to a Negroni then that's no problem at all. I sometimes add Bittermens Grapefruit or my Spanish, Dandelion & Burdock or Aphrodite, just depends how I'm feeling on any given day. However, the underlying point is that a Negroni is simple drink made up of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, sometimes a splash of soda water as well dependent where you are in the world, and if you're tending bar and someone asks for a Negroni then chances are that's what they're after.

Aren't these different drinks? The Rosita cocktail replaces the gin with tequila, orange bitters with Angostura, but also adds dry vermouth to the recipe. The Agavoni, for example, simply replaces gin with tequila in the Negroni recipe.

They may well be different though that's not the purpose of the article. The Rosita pre-dates any variant with tequila that I (or others) could find, it stands out as its own drink, has its ratios tweaked to consider the constituent parts, an interesting tale behind it as provided by Gary Regan, and already has some form of global-renown in various tomes.

The Agavoni is this; Take Negroni, leave out gin, add tequila, change 'Negr-' for 'Agav-'. Nothing wrong with that, it makes for an okay drink, but to me anyway it's not as interesting or good as the Rosita. There's less consideration and thought going into it...


Edited by evo-lution (log)

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I like all these drinks. I think the Old Pal doesn't get as much love is because it appeals to the intersection of both bitter lovers and dry cocktail lovers -- two minorities of the cocktail world. The Old Pal combines what I like about a Martini, a Negroni, and a Perfect Manhattan, all in one drink.

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I like all these drinks. I think the Old Pal doesn't get as much love is because it appeals to the intersection of both bitter lovers and dry cocktail lovers -- two minorities of the cocktail world. The Old Pal combines what I like about a Martini, a Negroni, and a Perfect Manhattan, all in one drink.

Love the bitter, have a tougher time with the very dry... but I'm working on it. Maybe I should check that one out.

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"4. A lot of people agree with me about the Old Pal and the Boulevardier. The former isn't that good, the latter is superb. I hazard to guess the Old Pal only gets so much attention because it contains a fashionable ingredient in rye whiskey."

While I do like the Cardinale, aka Aperitivo Harry, I have never quite gotten the appeal of the Old Pal.

On the other hand, an Old Pal with Gran Classico Bitter is pretty darn fantastic.

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Very interesting, Erik. Looking up the Cardinale, it's a 4:3:2 gin:Campari:dry cocktail. So you like that and a 2:1:1 rye:GranClassico:dry Old Pal. Hmmmm.

- Do you think the reason you like the Gran Classico is because of its different flavor profile (perhaps, more floral, less bright)?

- Or perhaps is Gran Classico a bit sweeter than Campari, making the 1:1 ratio between it and dry less severe? (I hadn't noticed much of a sugar difference myself.)

- Do you love (love, love) a Martini? Between it an an Old Fashioned, which is more appealing to you?

I'm really interested about the interaction between bitter, sweet, and sour. I don't really understand why I can like some popular sweet drinks (e.g. Manhattan) and not others (Old Fashioned).

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I think the crux of the issue with the Old Pal is that dark spirits and dry vermouth is combination that doesn't work for most people without serious intervention from mitigating ingredients. In something this elemental, there's nowhere for that weirdness to hide.

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On the other hand, an Old Pal with Gran Classico Bitter is pretty darn fantastic.

How very strange. 2:1:1 Russell's Reserve Rye, Gran Classico Bitter & Noilly Prat Dry = a drink that reminds me of nothing more than raspberries dipped in extremely high-cacao dark chocolate.

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KD1191 "How very strange. 2:1:1 Russell's Reserve Rye, Gran Classico Bitter & Noilly Prat Dry = a drink that reminds me of nothing more than raspberries dipped in extremely high-cacao dark chocolate."

Is that a bad thing?

I haven't tried a Gran Classico Old Pal with Noilly Prat dry for a while, usually keep Dolin Dry around the house. I'll have to get some and give it a try. I'm pretty sure Noilly Dry's sugar content is much higher than Dolin Dry.

It's very interesting, I've heard all sorts of unusual flavor descriptors from people when they try drinks with Gran Classico.

Grape Candy, Cabbage, etc.

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EvergreenDan:

"- Do you think the reason you like the Gran Classico is because of its different flavor profile (perhaps, more floral, less bright)?"

I think Gran Classico bring more herbal complexity to the Old Pal. Campari is pretty single noted without the cushion of complexity from the Italian Vermouth. It also took me a while to come around to the Brooklyn, I will admit, though they are favorites now.

"- Or perhaps is Gran Classico a bit sweeter than Campari, making the 1:1 ratio between it and dry less severe? (I hadn't noticed much of a sugar difference myself.)"

Gran Classico does seem perceptibly richer than Campari, not sure about actual brix levels.

"- Do you love (love, love) a Martini? Between it an an Old Fashioned, which is more appealing to you?"

I do not "love" super dry Martinis, aka a big glass of cold Gin.

Depends on my mood, but I would probably be more likely to drink a Manhattan, Martinez, or Old-Fashioned than a Martini.

Though I do like the Dry Vermouth version of the Turf a whole lot and Fifty-Fifty Cocktails are a favorite as well.

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Depends on my mood, but I would probably be more likely to drink a Manhattan [or] Martinez, than a Martini.

But, but, they're pretty much the same thing... :wink:

Harry Johnson.jpg


Edited by evo-lution (log)

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I dare you to serve that -- cherry and all -- to a customer. ;)

I am beginning to wonder whether the love of a modern (not 1:1 and not Winston's Nontini) Martini (maybe somewhere between 3:1 and 5:1)is a bellwether for other drinks one might like. I love (love, love) this Martini, and I really like the Old Pal. When I said Martini, Erik's mind went Nontini and he doesn't like the Old Pal. Interesting.

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I dare you to serve that -- cherry and all -- to a customer. ;)

I have. You know that Boker's thing I did? And that cocktail the Martinez? Sold quite a few of them. :wink:

"You say poh-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toh, you say Martini, I say Martinez."

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I dare you to serve that -- cherry and all -- to a customer. ;)

I have. You know that Boker's thing I did? And that cocktail the Martinez? Sold quite a few of them. :wink:

"You say poh-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toh, you say Martini, I say Martinez."

Really, you had paying customers sit in front of you and ask for a Martini with no other qualifiers and you served them something with Curacao and a cherry in it without getting it sent back?

Don't take this the wrong way but that defies belief. Whatever their historical connection, a Martini and Martinez are today as different as a Liberal and Libertarian.

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Really, you had paying customers sit in front of you and ask for a Martini with no other qualifiers and you served them something with Curacao and a cherry in it without getting it sent back?

:laugh: How exactly have you assumed all that? Did you actually read what I posted? The point was about selling the Martinez. Which, as most people make it today, is almost identical to the Martini as it was first known (see picture I posted above).

And the reason we're talking about that is because I jokingly pointed out to eje that there's little difference between a Manhattan, Martinez and Martini (in the historical sense, hence the link and picture), after he'd said he's more likely to drink the former two over the latter. Obviously aware of the fact he was speaking of the Dry Martini.

In the last decade I can only think of one guest who has ordered a Sweet Martini, and I'm 100% confident they were unaware of the Martini as it was in 1888, more likely they wanted a fashionable drink served sweeter as they don't like the more recognisable dry variant.

Thinking about it, there's a very good chance I hadn't made a Martinez in a bar, like many other bars and bartenders, until my Boker's reformulation in 2009. Particularly so as it was around this time that Old Tom also became readily available again.

Whatever their historical connection.

My thoughts on that are here for anyone that is interested.


Edited by evo-lution (log)

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I tried an interesting variation last night -- subbed Krogstad aquavit for gin (with Carpano Antica and Luxardo Bitter). Really nice.

Don't think that can be classified as a Negroni :wink: .

I can certainly call it a variation.

Of course you can...but it ain't a Negroni.

I like all these drinks. I think the Old Pal doesn't get as much love is because it appeals to the intersection of both bitter lovers and dry cocktail lovers -- two minorities of the cocktail world. The Old Pal combines what I like about a Martini, a Negroni, and a Perfect Manhattan, all in one drink.

I love the Old Pal, bitter and dry; what's not to like?. Another fine variation, which I think was "invented" at Rye, in San Francisco, is the 1794 Cocktail.

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Really, you had paying customers sit in front of you and ask for a Martini with no other qualifiers and you served them something with Curacao and a cherry in it without getting it sent back?

:laugh: How exactly have you assumed all that? Did you actually read what I posted? The point was about selling the Martinez. Which, as most people make it today, is almost identical to the Martini as it was first known (see picture I posted above).

I assumed it based on your saying that the Martini and Martinez are essentially the same thing, citing a 19th century recipe as evidence, the following exchange ensued:

I dare you to serve that -- cherry and all -- to a customer. ;)

I have. You know that Boker's thing I did? And that cocktail the Martinez? Sold quite a few of them. :wink:

"You say poh-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toh, you say Martini, I say Martinez."

Which makes it sound like you are reaffirming your belief that this 19th century Martini/ez is the same thing that is meant by the word Martini today. Glad we got that cleared up.

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I assumed it

You really didn't need to say anything else after that. However...

...based on your saying that the Martini and Martinez are essentially the same thing, citing a 19th century recipe as evidence, the following exchange ensued:

I didn't just cite a recipe as evidence, I added a link to an article I recently wrote which provides strong evidence that the Martinez and Martini were one and the same. It also covers the evolution of the Martini into the drier variant more common today.

Which makes it sound like you are reaffirming your belief that this 19th century Martini/ez is the same thing that is meant by the word Martini today. Glad we got that cleared up.

...but you're assumption has led to you somehow deciphering that I believe someone asking for a Martini in this day and age means they are asking for a drink which more closely resembles the Martinez as we know it, or the Martini as it was made in the late 1800s. Yup. You've cleared that up indeed.

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Sorry. Next time I'll Assume. Create fictional story. Try to appear clever. I'll bear that in mind.

Anyway, this has deviated away from talk of the Negroni and its variants. Reading through Sulle Tracce Del Conte (Luca Picchi's book on the Negroni) he has a number of variants at the back with both the Cardinal and Cardinale being listed;

Cardinal

3 parts gin

1 part Dry vermouth

1 part Campari

Cardinale

1 part gin

1 part Dry vermouth

1 part Campari

Both to be garnished with a lemon spiral

...when I was researching the variants I kept stumbling across these two different spellings though it was uncommon to find a difference between the two. The book would suggest that the difference is simply the ratio though I will have to dig a little deeper to ascertain if this is the case.

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Not to cause too much thread drift, but does the distinction between the Old Pal and the Boulevardier hinge on the whiskey or the vermouth? Are either considered to be interchangeable in these drinks? If the recipes are steadfast, what then do we make of the combinations rye/sweet vermouth/Campari and bourbon/dry vermouth/Campari? Are these entirely different drinks than the aforementioned, or merely variants? Do they already have names of their own?

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brinza: "Not to cause too much thread drift, but does the distinction between the Old Pal and the Boulevardier hinge on the whiskey or the vermouth?"

In my opinion, it's the Vermouth. Old Pal==Dry Vermouth, Boulevardier==Sweet Vermouth

Depending on the exact brand and mash bill of the Whiskey, either could be fairly similar with Rye or Bourbon.

On the other hand, they are pretty different drinks with sweet or dry vermouth.

Though, heh, there is quite a difference between Dolin Rouge and Carpano Antica or Imbue and Dolin Dry.

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Personally think it's not solely the spirit or the vermouth, it's both. An Old Pal is a specific cocktail calling for rye and dry, as is the Boulevardier with bourbon and sweet. I'm still looking for Negroni variants so may turn up a name for an Old Pal with sweet vermouth, or a Boulevardier with dry, but nothing as yet.

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Doesn't the Old Pal originally call for Canadian Club whiskey?

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