Tuesday, March 17, 2015

{in my kitchen} spiced negroni

I am not, and will not pretend that I am a cocktail aficionado. My cocktail does not need to take 20 minutes to create. It does not need to be crafted and treated as if it were a precious newborn puppy. I am merely an enthusiast that likes a well-balanced cocktail made from fresh ingredients - not kick you in the face strong, but not watered down either.

If you have followed along for awhile, you have only seen cocktails from me with Gin as the main spirit. While I love to sip on scotch or a good whiskey on the rocks at home after work [Whistle Pig is my current kick, which I will say is definitely worth the investment], the only cocktail ingredients I constantly have on stock [besides an Aperol Spritz - DANGER] is for a Negroni. 

What am I really craving though is a Negroni that I had at Junoon with my friend a few weeks back during one of the best dinners I've had in a long time. I am not going to ramble on about the incredible experience I had touring the restaurant and spice room with her and her Father, and the fact that while an Indian restaurant there is NO food odor to be found... but what I do need to talk about is the simple addition of Star Anise to the cocktail.  

What I usually do, per Junoon's execution, is put (1) one spice into the top of my ice cubes before freezing [for the sake of this photo and the sun setting, this one is a floater].  That's it - all this calls for on top of the classic Negroni recipe below is the Star Anise ice cube. What it does is, when really good and fresh, is create this perfectly subtle taste when sipping, as well as allows the aroma of the spice to gently please the nose senses. 

Most classics should be allowed to stay as it. But this update, for me, is far superior than the first.

Negroni Cocktail Recipe tailored via He Spoke Style
  • 1.25 oz Gin [don't go with Hendrick's or The Botanist here, a less sweet Gin like Dorothy Parker or Aviation work better]
  • 1.25 oz Campari
  • 1.25 oz Sweet Vermouth [refrigerate after opening!]*
  • 1 fresh Star Anise [my first batch were not as fresh as the second and it was a clear difference. splurge if necessary for quality]
    • Add to the drink after making, or prep in large cocktail ice cubes for a conversation starter
*The key here is equal parts of the above three

photos: Robin West

Other Gin ideas from my kitchen in case this is a bit strong for you:

Muddled Strawberry cocktailperfect for warmer months


- XO

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