I was happy to see that this month’s Mixology Monday challenge was Vermouth. It just so happens that we have recently discovered that vermouth really is a worthwhile flavor in a cocktail, not just something to wave at from a distance while making a dry martini. I will admit that I’m not fond of it straight, but ask again in a year and I might say something different.
Probably my current favorite drink using vermouth is the Manhattan, but in the interests of broadening our horizons we tried a few new things. The winners were the Emerald and the Cornwall Negroni.
The Emerald is an elegant cocktail composed of gin, green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. Strangely, it tasted very much like a Manhattan made with rye whiskey. I liked it very much. But then there was the Negroni.
The Negroni, I sometimes think, may be the most famous cocktail no-one ever drinks. I ordered one in our favorite bar a few months ago and the bartender said she only gets to make them about twice a year. Personally, I love the strong bitter flavor and deep color. Made of gin, Campari and vermouth, it’s a drink to sip slowly over the course of an afternoon or evening, preferably with a little cheese or a few bites of ham. You definitely don’t want to chug this one.
The Cornwall Negroni, the variation I’m drinking right now, has a bit more gin and a bit less Campari than the usual, but it uses both sweet vermouth and a bitter Italian variety called Punt e Mes. The garnish is a piece of flamed orange rind, which is a wonderful accent to the tart drink. It’s not tremendously different than a traditional Negroni, but it may have a bit more depth, since both the Campari and the Punt e Mes are adding to the bitter flavor, rounding it out. I might not go out and buy Punt e Mes just to make this, but it’s a great use for it if you have a bottle floating around .
- 2 oz gin
- ½ oz Punt e Mes
- ½ oz sweet vermouth
- ½ oz Campari
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cold cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.