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Negroni Nirvana – Ah, Malena, you beauty …

What a fun night that was, sipping on our Cubed Negroni while thinking ahead to our final two days of Negroni variant loving bliss.  Yes dear readers the ride that has been Negroni Nirvana will soon be pulling into the final station as we head towards the end of our journey.  Not to worry though, I’m sure we can find a new series to keep us occupied.

While tomorrow is the true end to Negroni Nirvana, today marks the real end of the fun.  The recipes presented thus far, with three exceptions (two previous and one tomorrow) have all been recipes sourced from various bartenders or other creative drink types.  We cap this main body of recipes off with a drink that will bring full circle, that which we have tried to capture in the journey – the joy of learning and fully experiencing a given drink and then feeling comfortable enough (and respectful enough) to explore new “versions” of it.

The Malena, created by Dushan Zaric of Employees Only in NYC, is a fantastic drink and through creative flair, pays homage to the classic drink.  Rye, not gin forms the spirit base; ruby port, not sweet vermouth provide the sweet balance; Campari … Dushan keeps that just as it is while also layering in additional new flavors.  The Malena is not only a joy to drink but in some ways, a bit addicting.  Bold, “spicy,” bitter, semi-sweet and possessive of a characteristic on the palate akin to being covered in a warm blanket; it is complex yet at the same time, subtle.  We absolutely love this variant of the Negroni.

Recipe created by Dushan Zaric of “Employees Only” in NYC and adapted by theSpeakista

•    1 oz Wild Turkey 101 Rye whiskey (Rittenhouse bonded was used)
•    1 oz Campari
•    3/4 oz ruby port (Warre’s was used)
•    5 drops orange flower water
•    2 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: orange wheel and ground cinnamon
Glass: chilled rocks glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon and julep strainer

Assembly: Add all of the ingredients, save the flower water, 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). Add/sprinkle the flower water over ice (a large rock cube is preferred by us) that you have placed in the serving glass.  Strain the stirred drink mixture over the ice in the glass, garnish, serve and enjoy!  

It has been a fun run.  Negroni Nirvana is all but over with one day left.  We appreciate you joining us on this 30 day exploration into many a Negroni variant. We hope that if you have not been a fan of this bitter, beauty of a drink that you will give it a try (possibly using one of the drinks presented as a “gateway” to a fuller experience); if you are already in the “Negroni Lovers Club” then we hope that you have fun exploring.

Thanks again and we’ll see you back here tomorrow with our final offering (WARNING: it is another theSpeakista original).

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