Negroni Nirvana – You can say that again …

by KeithP on May 29, 2012

Nothing makes a six hour flight to the left coast pass more quickly than by drinking up a storm.  As it is difficult to get a well-made drink at 30,000 feet I opted to push back several bourbons while en route to our seventh and final rum-based Negroni variant.

As we noted several times throughout the course of Negroni Nirvana, rum works, and works well in a Negroni format.  A strongly (or in some cases, a somewhat less) bitter component looks for calm against a sweet backdrop and in a Negroni this is accomplished via sweet vermouth with the “dryness” of gin also helping to flatten out the bitterness.  Today’s recipe is a fantastic example of how stretching the Negroni format, with the proper components, can yield a really, nice drink.

The Candencia Obscura wipes clean the Negroni recipe slate in a few ways.  First, there is no gin, but rather in its places rests the amazingly lush, toffee-sweet beauty of Ron Zacapa 23 rum.  Rather than use the typical combination of sweet vermouth and Campari the drink’s creator pairs the aforementioned rum with two bitter, yet richly flavorful ingredients.  Amaro Nonino, the slightly less bitter albeit slightly sweeter amaro is subbed for the vermouth with the almost common (for a Negroni variant) Gran Classico Bitter standing in for the Campari.  Together these two bitter ingredients add in layers of added fruit and herbal characteristics to the drink while nicely “bittering” the entire mixture.  The rum, the true soul of the drink, is balanced perfectly.

A really nice version of the Negroni (thanks Ramon).

Candencia Obscura
Recipe sourced from this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, on-line edition, from a drink created by Ramon Garcia of “Gitane” (in San Francisco, CA) and adapted by theSpeakista

•    1 oz Ron Zacapa 23-year old rum
•    1 oz Amaro Nonino
•    1 oz Gran Classico Bitter
Garnish: orange 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.

Rummy, rummy, rummy rum goodness! Oh Hell yeah, we do love us some rum in our Negroni variants.  We have but three days left in the nirvana … next up, a little “cubed” action.

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