Negroni Week is still a little bit away (June 4 -10 this year), but I had a special request to showcase my favorite variation of a Negroni. Before I get into that, I would like to provide some information on what Negroni Week is, because it truly is a beautiful effort to raise money for charities around the world.
Negroni Week is presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari. It is a international event where bars and restaurants can mix up the classic drink or their own variation of a Negroni to support a cause of their choosing. According to the official website, from 2013 to 2017, participation grew from 100 venues to over 7,700 venues, and have in sum, collected over $1.5 million to charitable causes. If you work at a bar or restaurant, or just want to learn more about this terrific program, go to NegroniWeek.com.
If you don’t know this… I presently work for retail shop as the in-house spirits specialist. While I thoroughly miss creating cocktails behind a bar, I’m fortunate enough to have access to many wonderful products and decent home bar to allow me purge my creative desire to make cocktails at my disposal. It’s nice. A friend of mine, and a loyal customer to the store I work, asked me what my variation of a Negroni was, and so here I present the Mary Have Mercy.
I love rosemary, and any reason to use it will be a reason I find. Letherbee is a distillery based in Chicago that produces extraordinary gin. They also release seasonal gin expressions twice a year, and this past release was just what I was looking for for this drink (hence the premature posting of my Negroni).
The 2017 Letherbee Autumnal boast amazing herbaceous flavors with rosemary blossoming through brightly. I wanted to pair the elements of this gin to build my drink and really pull forward the flavors of this spirit. I used Cardamaro as my sub for the classic use of vermouth. I chose this particular amaro for his herbal/vegetal qualities, as Cardamaro is made from cardoon (a relative of artichoke), as well as blessed thistle. I then use Campari which is called for in the original recipe of a Negroni. It is a gorgeous pairing, as the bitter orange really balances out the perfumed/earthy/vegetal qualities of the other ingredients, to settle back the impact and offer from roundness. I then dash in a few homemade drops of Rosemary & Vanilla bitters to offer sweetness and lighten the load of naturally heavy spirit based drink.
Mary Have Mercy
1.5oz Letherbee Gin Autumnal 2017
2 dashes Rosemary & Vanilla Bitters
Garnish: Rosemary Sprig
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe, and garnish with a rosemary sprig. Sip. Enjoy. And send me your own variation of a the classic Negroni.