White Negroni

From Suze

Tried three white negroni variations last night using the ratios from the PDT Cocktail Book ratio as a starting point.

2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Suze

2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
1/2 oz Salers

2 oz Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz Tempus Fugit Kina l’Avion d’Or
1/2 oz Tempus Fugit Grand Classico Bitter

The first is the original White Negroni created by Wayne Collins when a friend gave him some Suze to play with. I am gradually coming to the conclusion that either my Suze is tired, or I just don’t like it. The original was my least favorite of the bunch. I kind of kept thinking, it would have been a perfectly fine cocktail, if it didn’t have the Suze in it.

According to some friends, a recipe for a ‘white negroni’ is being made at Dutch Kills in New York using Dolin Blanc instead of Lillet Blanc. This was a nice feature for the Saler’s, and a tasty cocktail, though it really didn’t evoke the aesthetic of a Negroni.

The third was the most ‘negroni’ of the three, adding the herbal accents of the Gran Classico. Guests were split about 50-50 between it and a classic negroni.

A Hendrick’s Cocktail

A guy was in the other night and wanted a “spirituous” cocktail featuring Hendricks.

I decided to do a variation on a tequila drink I’d worked up previously, to relatively positive response.

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc (or other Bianco) Vermouth
2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters

Stir, strain, grapefruit peel garnish.

I really liked the way the rose of the Hendricks and grapefruit from the bitters worked together with the herbal flavors of the Dolin Blanc.

The customer’s response was, “that’s kind of subtle”. Hm, well, “subtle” is not bad, and, actually, exactly the sort of thing I aspire to in a spirituous cocktail. Present the spirit first and foremost, with some subtle accents.

A few days later, my boss came in to pick up some ice and paused for a couple drinks. He asked that I make him a gin cocktail, either a Savoy Cocktail or one of my own. Nothing like a little pressure.

Mulled a couple things, and decided to run this past him, but with Miller’s Westbourne instead of Hendricks. I thought I liked it better with the Miller’s than the Hendrick’s. Though it did need a bit longer stir to tame the heat of the Westbourne strength gin.

His comment was something like, “Well, it is kind of cheating, as pretty much 2 oz of anything with dolin blanc is going to taste great. But I like the way the grapefruit works in this. I could drink a lot of these.”

Balthazar Cocktail

I’ve been making this cocktail for a while when cocktail geeky or bartender type people ask me for a Mezcal, Tequila, or Agave “Dealer’s Choice Cocktail”.  It’s just kind of fun to mess with people and not make a shaken citrus or fruit based cocktail.  For obvious reasons, I usually just call it a “Death and Company” or “Phil Ward” style cocktail.  However, checking with one of the bartenders at Death and Co, it turns out it isn’t actually a Death and Company cocktail.  Damn.  That meant I had to think of a name.

A guest the other night quite enjoyed it and suggested calling it the “Balthazar Cocktail”.  Odd.  The Donkey or the Getty?  The Burro or the Ass?  I didn’t ask, so I leave it up to you to make the call.

Balthazar Cocktail
1 1/2 oz El Tesoro platinum tequila
1/4 oz Benesin Mezcal
1/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse Liqueur
3/4 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
dash orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Squeeze orange peel over glass and discard.