Once again it’s time for MXMO and this month and Joel, of the Southern Ash is hosting this month. We’d like to wish him a Happy Birthday and say thanks for hosting this month. As always, MXMO would not be what it is today without all the hard work that Frederick Yarm has put into it over the years, so thanks Frederick.
The topic that Joel picked for his MXMO Birthday challenge is nothing less than “Perfect.” Joel describes what the word “Perfect” means in the cocktail world:
A “perfect” drink splits the liquor or liqueur evenly between two related ingredients. The most common “perfect” drink is a Perfect Manhattan where the vermouth is split between sweet and dry to create an altogether different experience. A perfect Old Fashioned splits the bourbon and rye are both used to create a singularly distinct experience. When done well, splitting the liquor lets each of the unique flavors and components of the shine through.
For this MXMO, we are going to take a venerable classic, The Negroni, and put our “perfect” twist to it.
The origin of the Negroni can be traced back to a bar in Florence that was visited by the Count Camillo Negroni. According to the stories, the count ordered a variation upon the Americano, which is Campari, Sweet Vermouth and soda water. Depending on which story you want to believe, he either ordered it with gin instead of soda water, or asked the bartender to make the Americano a little more stiff. Either way, the result was a fantastic cocktail that quickly became a classic.
Since the Negroni is an equal parts cocktail using gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, I figured why not use the idea of a “Perfect” drink in every ingredient in the cocktail and see how it turns out. What I came up with was the following:
1. .50 oz Diep 9 Genever
2. .50 oz Tangueray Gin
3. .50 oz Campari
4. .50 oz Gran Classico Bitters
5. .50 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
6. .50 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir to chill and dilute. Strain into a spirits glass and garnish with an orange twist.
How does it taste?
Wow, this cocktail turned out to be amazing. All of the ingredients expressed their individual character at different times making for a roller coaster experience of flavors. The very first sip you get the taste of gin married with Campari, a botanical focus with a bitter backbone. As these 2 ingredients begin to fade, the dry vermouth and the malty, botanical notes of the Genever begin to develop, followed by the sweet bitter notes found in the Gran Classico and the sweet vermouth. You finish with the taste of caramel and grapefruit zest from the Gran Classico. The fresh aroma of the orange oil carried through the entire taste experience.
Happy Birthday to Joel, and thank you for taking the time during your birthday month for hosting MXMO 90. Is it officially time to start the countdown to MXMO 100?