A Twist on a Classic Negroni
The Negroni is like no other drink - sweet, bitter, rich and astringent all at once, with flavours of grapefruit, cinnamon and juniper all balancing each other beautifully. Needless to say, we are huge fans. But have you tried its cousin, the White Negroni?
A recent obsession of ours, a White Negroni is a play on the original, with lighter, grassier flavours and less sweetness - and of course, a lighter colour. Initially devised to make the most of citrus-forward Plymouth gin and the gentian flavoured French liqueur Suze, the drink is a perfect reverse of a traditional Negroni. Think floral, light and bright, with a pleasing astringency on the palate - less sweetness and winter spice, and more herbaceous bite. If you’ve never tried one, or you’re stuck in a rut, they’re well worth a go.
Through the Fire and Flames
While a White Negroni is all well and good, the profile can be a little one sided - we wanted to give it a twist. Based loosely on a White Negroni, our Dragon’s Eye takes these flavours and gives them a grown up twist with saline, vegetal notes, along with an appropriately delicate bitterness. There is a heaviness and a tangy dankness to the mix here; something to do with the salt and the woody botanicals. Forgive us for playing a little on Aranami’s water dragon theme too - the blend of brackish seawater and cool forests that the drink evokes was too good to miss, with the scents of damp cave moss and cold stone very apparent at the drink’s base. A silky, sweet and herbaceous mix, each ingredient brings out notes in the others for spectacular harmony and balance.
Some notes about the ingredients -
- Hidden Curiosities Aranami Strength Gin is a natural partner to the lighter vermouth, with its bright citrus flavours and sansho pepper zestiness coming to the fore. You should also be able to detect some of the shiso’s spicy grassiness in the blend, along with strident saltiness from the salted sakura.
- Cucielo Bianco Vermouth is a recent discovery of ours and is fast becoming one of our favourites. The flavours of elderflower, garden herbs and vanilla are the perfect complement to the other elements, and the light and sweet body is very luxurious.
- Luxardo Bitter Bianco was created with the White Negroni in mind, and while it’s a beautiful product and has many uses elsewhere, we are putting it in its context. Sharing many of the flavour characteristics of its original red stablemate, the botanicals are distilled to give a clear finish, and it’s complemented by an additional infusion of wormwood. Aromatic, complex and herbaceous, it gives a long finish to the drink. It’s a lot more refined and less in-your-face than the traditional Campari.
Stir your ingredients together in a chilled glass, then put the largest block of ice you can find into a heavy tumbler. Pour over the ice - this brings the temperature down and helps to dilute the strength a little. Garnish with a beautiful green Nocellara olive (The Dragon’s Eye), to enhance salinity and make the whole thing look refined and elegant.
We are stocking limited quantities of the pre-mixed cocktail, so if you’d like to try this light and bittersweet blend without stocking up on ingredients, get it while you can. Otherwise, mix at your leisure, and try a Dragon’s Eye as the perfect aperitif.