averna

Eventing: Negroni Week 2014

The Negroni; A drink that to be completely honest, I just couldn’t get into for the longest time. In all fairness, you go to 5 different bars and they might serve you that cocktail 5 different ways. My favorite “custom iteration” was always the shaken, no vermouth, cheap gin with muddled orange. Mmmm… if I could be sippin’ on that mutated horror this very second…

While I’m on the matter, can we all agree that Negronis served ‘up’ in a martini glass is kind of weird? Like “people that date their cousins” weird. “Oh, thank you for serving me a cocktail that will no doubt get real warm, real quickly cause I intended to sip this gingerly while I waited to ease my way into a night out with friends, but fuck it, I’m gonna be hammered now!”. Thank you, friend.

So what is Negroni week? It’s an event sponsored by Imbibe & Campari where a portion of every Negroni sold at a participating bar between June 2nd – 8th goes to charity. “Drinking For A Cause” is the name of the game.

As we all know, a “classic” Negroni is made with equal parts gin, Campari & sweet vermouth. Thats it. You just stir that stuff up and pour it in some ice with an orange peel and you got yourself a stew, baby. I never liked the original formula; Found it much too sweet. It wasn’t until I saw Jim Meehan (of PDTNYC fame) doing a 2 parts gin to 1 part sweet vermouth & Campari that I really started enjoying them. So much in fact, that it’s my go-to drink at any bar (with a lemon peel tho). Then I found this spin on the classic:

All photos courtesy of Lyudmila zotova (photographer extraordinaire) for Death to Sour Mix.

So have yourself a few classic Negronis this coming week, be it at home or at a participating bar if you want to feel good about yourself (careful you don’t feel “too good”) but then try this one on for size:

2 oz Junipero gin (Plymouth works wonders)
1 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
3/4 oz Averna amaro
2 dashes Scrappy’s orange bitters

Pour into a mixing glass and stir.
Pour into a rocks glass w/ ice
Garnish with an orange peel.
[ Enjoy ]

The Pledge

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This is the drink that made me give a shit about Rye.

I try and be as honest as I can on here cause, well, I’m a horrible liar. Add to that my lack of filter and social awareness and you have a person that you should never ask things like ‘do these pants make my ass look fat?’ or ‘are you only dating me to get closer to my dad?’…but I digress… Rye whiskey; To me it was just “that other whiskey” that they sell next to old man bourbon at the store. And even though I’ve had a bottle of Bulleit Rye for about a year now, it was mainly to taste it and be able to hang with the cool kids.

I’ve been drinking a lot more whiskey lately (no reason. It just happened), specifically in more complex versions (Corpse Reviver #4, The Stranger, just to name a few) where the rye really comes out, does a little dance and then makes me say dumb shit. So having discovered that rye really can be enjoyable, I decided to make something where I steal take bits and pieces from recipes and really figure out how rye works, its complexity, when to use it, how much of it, etc. So if anything, I’d advise you to find or make a drink where it becomes a learning experience of how and when to use spirits that you don’t quite “get”. Not just with rye but anything really. Just know that you wont like everything that’s out there and not everything will be right for you but hey, that’s life.

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Rye whiskey
Averna Amaro
Yellow Chartreuse
Angostura Bitters

The green stuff is much too strong for my taste but its yellow little brother seems to work just fine here. As for the Averna, it’ll give it a nice soft caramel note, which you *could* swap out for some Benedictine [per se] and it will give you a great result, if slightly different.

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This drink reminds me a bit of cinnamon gum. Like one of those big red gumballs (fireballs?) that get real hot in your mouth. Yeah. Like that. But with a lot of booze.

1/2 oz Averna Amaro
1/2 oz YELLOW chartreuse
1 1/2 oz Bulleit Rye [Why Bulleit? Because its delicious! But I hear good things about Rittenhouse]
2 dashes of Angostura

Since it’s all liquor here, stir it for a bit.
Take a lemon peel, squeeze some of the oils onto the cocktail and dip it. Bam. You just made a garnish.
[Enjoy]

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