Help fix my Negroni
Having discovered the beauty of the Negroni over the last year, I decided to attempt to make one at home.
1 part Citadelle Gin
1 part Luxardo Bitter (a little cheaper than Campari and I have seen plenty of recommendations that this makes a worthy substitute)
1 part Vya Sweet Vermouth
The result was *good* but didn't have the bracing, but wonderfully balanced, bitterness of the Negronis that I've loved elsewhere. Any thoughts on changing my proportions? I'm thinking about dialing back the Vermouth but would that throw things out of balance?
If it doesn't have Campari, it isn't a Negroni. Sure it's in the same family, but... Also I feel Vya doesn't work well in many cocktails.
Campari really makes the negroni. You can play around with the other ingredients, but the drink is defined by Campari.
I concur. I like Luxardo Bitter (and Gran Classico too), but I use it about 10% as much as I do Campari, despite Campari being 35% more expensive. And I go through a lot of Campari
Also, Punt e Mes makes a spectacular Negroni. I've had trouble integrating Vya dry, but had no trouble with the sweet version. That said, I find the Negroni to be one of the most forgiving cocktails. I like it in just about any ratio, with just about any brands, regular or perfect.
I suggest you taste each ingredient neat to form your opinion of it. You will have to mentally factor in its flavor in the cocktail (dilution, temperature, other ingredients), but it will really help you pinpoint what you aren't happy with.
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Do you find Aperol to be less bitter, a bit sweeter than Campari? I think that is what I taste. We drink Campari as our main summer drink and frequently during other warmer months. Campari now owns and makes Aperol. I would agree that a Negroni requires Campari. I have had a quasi Negroni with a bit of St. Germain which was delightful.
Yes, I do find the Aperol a little less bitter in there. But I like the classic Negroni also. I did not realize Campari had purchased them!
I have put a dash of St Germain in a classic Negroni also. Not bad.
Re: Summer. I sometimes leave the Campari in the fridge, not because it needs to be in there, but to minimize immediate dilution when I made a Campari and soda.
One other thing I'd suggest is to use a London Dry gin. I typically use Plymouth, but a Negroni is a pretty demanding drink for gin and it needs something strong to stand up to the Campari. In general, I like things a bit less juniper heavy, but in a Negroni, a juniper-heavy London Dry works wonderfully. I use Beefeater.
I haven't tried Citadelle, but from what I've heard, it's a French gin that aims for something different than the classic London Dry, with dialed back juniper and a number of other, sweeter botanicals (notably coriander) taking the lead.
For me, equal parts Campari, Beefeater, and Dolin sweet vermouth with a big orange twist on the rocks is the way I make a Negroni.