Its cocktail time! It has been a while since I have done anything beverage related, and for those of you that enjoy that, my apologies for neglecting you….it won’t happen again. I had forgotten how much I actually enjoyed a negroni until a few weeks ago. I had a client taking one of my online cocktail classes, and one of their clients was campari. So naturally we were making negoni’s. As I went through this class, talking about the origins of this cocktail, making it, and tasting it with my class, it just kind of came back to me how much I really enjoyed this particular drink.
The drink itself is very simple, it is equal parts gin, campari, and sweet vermouth. Sounds simple enough right? You can actually watch the full youtube video of how I made this smoked version here, https://youtu.be/9HtpYAcDK9A . Now, even though the ingredients themself are simple, technique and the right gin/sweet vermouth are crucial components. I opted for a Japanese Gin, a little smoother than its London counterpart, a little more floral, and a little less juniper. For the vermouth we went with Carpano Antica, which is my favorite to use in cocktails.
SO where does the smoke come in you ask? Well, I used a cedar plank, you can usually find those in the seafood section of your local grocery store (think cedar plank salmon), and a small torch to light it on fire a bit to cause some great smoke. I placed the cocktail glass over the smoking cedar plank, and allowed the glass to fill with the smoke. Cedar smoke is thick and has a great aroma, so it just coats the inside of the glass, and you get that smokey nose throughout the cocktail.
First you are going to get the cedar plank smoking, then place your glass over the smoking area. Then, in a mixing glass or shaker add in 1 oz of gin, 1 oz of campari, 1 oz of sweet vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters (optional). Next add some ice to the mixture and stir, do not shake, we don’t want to agitate the drink, we want to keep it smooth and velvety. Finally strain the contents of the mixing glass/shaker into your smoke filled drinking glass, over some fresh new ice. Then garnish the cocktail with an orange peel!