The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clementine Negroni

After a slight detour down Morning Buzz Boulevard, we have returned to our gin crusade with a variation on a truly timeless cocktail. I have always longed to love the Negroni, but have found myself infatuated by it’s Yankee cousin the Boulevardier; don’t let it’s ex-pat nom-de-guerre fool you, it's roots are one hundred percent American. This adaptation, or bastardization depending on whom you ask, adds a new flavor to this already complex drink. A gin connoisseur friend of mine was not a fan when I introduced him to the Negroni, he felt overwhelmed by the Campari. The solution is adding clementine juice, completely changing the taste of this drink, resulting in a balance that is pleasing to even the most discerning palate.

As this is a modern deviation, there is no need to delve deeply into the history of this cocktail, just read on and prepare your taste buds for a flavor explosion. As this is a perfect drink to share with a lady friend on a warm summer’s eve, this recipe is for two, adjust as your company dictates…

Start by placing three peeled clementines (or mandarin oranges, for simpletons like the author) in an over-sized shaker. Add four or five solid dashes of orange bitters and muddle thoroughly. Add two ounces Hendrick’s gin (I find the flavor more complimentary), two ounces Campari, and 1½ ounces of sweet vermouth. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Divide between two chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with clementine slices. Prepare to be praised excessively.

Clementine Negroni
3 clementines, peeled
5 dashes orange bitters
2 oz hendrick’s gin
2 oz campari
1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
Place clementines and orange bitters into a large shaker, muddles until fruit is pulverized. Add gin, campari and sweet vermouth. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Divide between two chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with a clementine slice.

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