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Negroni Nirvana – The Trident

I thought long and hard about a pithy title for today’s post (I like those if you haven’t noticed) and after doing my best to link the drink name with Greek mythology and the Negroni, I was left in re-set mode and opted for the simple and direct route.  If it is not clear by now, today Negroni Nirvana is presenting a near classic drink in its own right and we will be left after our experience today asking once again the age old question … “when does a drink stop being a variation on another drink and stand on its own?”

Many things can be said regarding today’s drink but for me it is summed up pretty simply as “a damn tasty drink!”  Created by spirits and drink writer (and guru) Robert Hess several years ago when playing around with ideas that could use Fee Brothers Peach Bitters, the Trident is in its own right, a classic drink.  Some know the story, the claim, that after being included on the Zig Zag drink menu, the establishment soon became the largest combined user of Cynar in Washington state.  What patrons at the Zig Zag came to know (and if you don’t you should) is that this is one damn good drink and a classic example of how staring at a recipe in front of a shelf of bottles can yield great results.

The entire Negroni formula is quite literally turned on its head with all of the main ingredients being subbed out and peach bitters being thrown in.  Robert axed the gin in lieu of aquavit; canned the Campari in favor of the aforementioned bitter amaro Cynar and peach bitters; and the sweet vermouth was left in the rack and replaced with a dry sherry.  Perfectly balanced between semi-sweet, bitter, botanical and fruity the drink hits on many different levels.  The anise flavors play off the herbaceous notes of the amaro and the sherry adds a great layer of fruit while also lending woody notes.

I have loved this drink from the first time I tried it.  It was the reason that I not only bought my first bottle of Cynar but also why I have peach bitters.  If you have no other reason to get these ingredients than you should get them purely to make this drink.

Recipe created by Robert Hess and adapted by theSpeakista  

•    1 oz aquavit (Krogstad was used)
•    1 oz Cynar
•    1 oz dry sherry (our barrel aged Osborne Amontillado was used)
•    2 dashes peach bitters
Garnish: lemon twist
Glass: chilled coupe or other cocktail glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon and julep strainer

Assembly: Add all of the ingredients to the mixing glass and stir for several minutes with plenty of cracked and non-cracked ice until well chilled (adding in additional ice as needed along the way) and strain into the serving glass.  Garnish, sip and enjoy.    

What a fantastic night this was, sipping and writing about a really, lovely, drink.  Tomorrow something a little, well … white?

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