Fall/Winter Cocktail to Replace My Beloved Negroni
I will forever associate the Summer of 2011 with my life-enhancing discovery of the Negroni. Before discovering this superb cocktail, I cast about trying newfangled cocktails indiscriminately. As much as I love the Negroni, at its essence, it's a summer drink. I'm looking for recommendations on a fall/winter cocktail to replace the Negroni until next Spring. I favor gin as my spirit, but I'm open to non-gin-based cocktails as well, as long as they're not too sweet.
Personally, I think the richness of the Sweet Vermouth makes the Negroni a great drink for any season. That said, perhaps whiskey would be welcome in the fall. If you like the bitter flavors of a Negroni, and since you're not a fan of sweet, try a Paper Airplane -- equal parts bourbon, Campari, Ramazzotti, and lemon. If you want it less tart for fall, you could cut back on the lemon a bit. It responds well to nice bourbon, but it's good with well-quality choices like Jim Beam.
Absent that, a Manhattan is very fall-winter-like. Make it with a good quality rye (I recommend the new Bulleit rye if you can find it, or Wild Turkey rye). To bump up the bitter to keep it interesting, use Punt e Mes as the sweet vermouth, or a mix of Punt e Mes and regular sweet vermouth. I also like Carpano Antica in it, but you will have to use less or mix it with regular sweet vermouth, lest the drink taste of nothing but Carpano Antica. (StriperGuy -- start clicking "reply" now....) Use a dash of some spicy bitters, such as regular Angostura, Fee Whiskey Barrel Aged (probably not available at this time of year), Jerry Thomas, etc.
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