The Negroni – a classic Italian. As with many cocktails, the actual origin is highly disputed. The following story is only one of many that recite the origin of this famous drink. Let us take you back to 1919. We take a seat at the bar of Caffe Casoni, a small bar located at Via Tornabuoni, a picturesque street in central Florence, Italy.
This is where a local general, Count Camillo (de) Negroni, is said to have ordered his favourite drink, an Americano (Campari, Vermouth, soda water) with a little twist. He asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to swap the soda water with Gin. A star was born: the Negroni.
The Negroni everyone knows comes as a perfect concoction consisting of 3 main players – The Gin, the bittering agent, and the liquor.
The White Negroni, derived from the Italian classic Negroni became a real thing in the last years, as well as the Mezcal Negroni using the Mexican spirit to add a smokey note.
In the video below, Hoshizaki-Gram Ambassador Tess Posthumus explains, how she mixes the innovative Flying Dutchman Cocktail staple and explains how each of the used ingredients interacts to build an exciting taste experience.
The White Mezcal Negroni: Ingredients
- 30 ml Lillet Blanc
- 30 ml Suze
- 30 ml Mezcal
- Good Quality Ice Cubes, L/XL
- Glass: Old Fashioned
- Garnish: Grapefruit Zest
Good Quality Ice
We start with good quality ice cubes.
The bigger the better. At least when it comes to using ice cubes for preparing cocktails. The bigger the surface the quicker the heat exchange. The heat exchange is what determines how rapidly your drink can be diluted by melting ice water. To counter that, make sure to use medium-sized to big-sized ice cubes. Another characteristic that prevents quick dilution is the dryness and hardness of ice cubes. Fill a good amount of ice cubes into a glass.
The Bittering Agent
The classic Negroni is made with Campari, the famous herb and fruit-infused liquor from Italy. In this recipe, this bittering agent is swapped with the aperitif liquor Suze. This swiss bitter is made of infused plant parts of a plant, native to the swiss alps, the gentian. In this recipe, Tess uses 30 ml of Suze.
(Source: https://www.suze.com )
In this recipe, Tess uses 30 ml of Mezcal.
Instead of Gin, this recipe asks for something smokier: Mescal, a clear spirit made from distilling from agave plants, native to Mexico. The biggest hub of mescal production today is in Oaxaca, Mexico. The spirit is made by cooking the hearts of agave plants before fermenting and distilling the juice.
As with many things, the origin of Mescal is uncertain and fuels the many stories around its invention. It is sometimes called “Elixir of Gods”, as a local legend indicates, that a lightning bolt struck an agave plant. Hit with this energy, the agave plant is said to have released its powerful juice.
Actually, the spirit is made by cooking the hearts of agave plants before fermenting and distilling the juice. The production steps of Mezcal today are very similar to the methods of 200 years ago and it seems to be as popular as back then, however it takes second place after Tequila. Mezcal is usually consumed straight by locals, but it is widely used for cocktails around the world. The biggest export volumes today go to the United States and Japan. In this recipe, Tess uses 30 ml of Mezcal.
(Source: Wikipedia Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20120319165537/http://www.elmezcal.org/general/what-is-mezcal)
In this recipe, Tess uses 30 ml of Lillet Blanc. The liquor used in a classic Negroni is Vermouth.
For the White Mezcal Negroni, Tess swaps the Vermouth with Lillet Blanc, an aromatized wine-based aperitif, produced in Podensac, France.
The liqueur is made from a blend of 85% Semillon wine and 15 % macerated liqueurs made of citrus fruits. As quinine is added, the Lillet blanc is considered a tonic wine.
Stirred, not shaken
Fill all ingredients into an Old Fashioned Glass and stir the different liquids thoroughly.
Thanks to the big ice cubes, the liquid concoction is chilled quickly, while keeping the dilution rate low. Now, strains the liquid into an old-fashioned glass, filled with ice cubes. As a finishing touch, garnish the drink with a fresh and squeezed zest of a grapefruit.
For visual recipe instructions, watch the recipe video with Tess Posthumus on our Youtube Channel!