Negroni CocktailEdit Post
Contributed by on Feb 23, 2015
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In this post I want to say some words about a true classic Negroni, especially about the red vermouth in it.
Can you belive it, that in spite of being a huge fan of aromatic cocktails, especially Martinez, Negroni, Manhattan, I have never tasted such an exciting and famous rosso vermouth as Carpano Antica Formula? Actually this vermouth is absolutely unavailable on the Ukrainian market as well as in the duty-free shops that were visited by my wife 8) So, I always contented myself with available rosso vermouths – such as Martini & Rosso, Cinzano and Gancia and, I’m pretty sure, I always obtained good results [Certainly I avoid using cheap local vermouths or suspiciously cheap brands]. But, of course, I had been dreaming about Carpano Antica Formula for a long time.
The reason of this long-term dreaming was so obvious. A vast majority of American cocktail bloggers, bartenders, enthusiasts consider Carpano Antica Formula the best rosso vermouth in the world and the most authentic ingredient for many classic vermouth libations, especially Manhattan [even though it is vermouth alla vaniglia – a slightly different kind of vermouth than a regular rosso vermouth di Torino]. So, I could not slur the fact over and I must have made quite an effort to obtain this legendary vermouth and scrutinize it. I was extremely curious whether it could bring something new and unique to my beloved cocktails. I started with a Negroni Cocktail.
30 ml gin
30 ml sweet vermouth
30 ml Campari
Stir with ice and strain over a large ice cube into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange wedge.
Before describing my impressions of a Negroni Cocktail with Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, let me point out some main Negroni characteristics which make a Negroni Negroni. Strong bitterness. Herbal richness. A powerful palate full of botanicals. A well balanced bitter-sweet drink. Theoretically, a difference between two good Negronis may be attributed to the peculiar properties of gin / rosso vermouth. Also, the sweetness of vermouth matters. Being a protagonist of an ancient cocktail feeling, or, in simpler terms, having a sweet tooth, I prefer cocktails balanced on the sweet side and, consequently, I love really sweet sweet vermouth in my cocktails 8) Thus, I’ve preferred Gancia Rosso in my Negronis for a long time.
Well, getting back to the point, the Negroni Cocktail with Carpano Antica Formula vermouth was perfect! So rich. So flavorful. With a palate full of herbs, roots and, well, beans ;) With an extremely pleasant vanilla note. Great! But… You know… It wasn’t greater than my regular Negroni with a Gancia Rosso 8) Rather different, yes, great, but not utterly better. And I don’t think that it is something bad ;)
As it often happens, life made my cocktail adventures even more interesting – as soon as I possessed the Carpano Antica Formula I suddenly ran into another fancy red vermouth product – Cinzano 1757, so I had a great opportunity to organize a real «Antica Formula» red vermouth contest 8) [As a matter of fact an Ukrainian label of Cinzano 1757 vermouth contains such a signature, also the Gancia Rosso Vermouth label has signatures «1850» and «Antica Ricetta», so, they match this contest too ;)]
Straight up, on the rocks or in the Negroni – neither could let me pick a winner. In fact, as such a cool vermouth adept as Martin Doudoroff notices, there isn’t a
champion platonic ideal :) At least all of these three «antica formula» vermouths are great products which give rich, deep, powerful, very aromatic cocktails. So cool. So distinguished. Just as I love 8)