Tuesday, October 11, 2011

St. George Negroni Three Ways

As a number of earlier posts attest, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the new gins from St. George Spirits. I’ve been playing with the Dry Rye and the Terroir, and now I’ve found the Botanivore, a sort of super-gin of 19 botanicals. The least outrageous of the three, it’s elegant dry gin for classic cocktails made the traditional way. Thinking of this classicism, I decided it would be interesting to try the three gins in the same Negroni recipe to show their differences. The Negroni has a ton of personality—a perfect match for three personality gins.

For the Negroni recipe, I went with an ounce and a half of gin and three-quarters of an ounce each of Campari and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, orange twist. I briefly considered the classic one ounce of each, but wanted to emphasize the gin, and like my Negronis drier anyway. I also opted for straight up, stirred, instead of on the rocks.

First up was Botanivore, and the resulting cocktail tasted, well, like a Negroni. A good one. I wanted to use less of the other stuff to taste the gin, which is what always happens to me unless the drink is made even drier than 2:1:1.

Next there was Dry Rye, and the juniper and black pepper notes not only overpowered the Campari, believe it or not, but crushed it. Tasty, but not much like a Negroni. I remade it later in the 1-to-1-to-1 ratio, which worked a lot better. Big and fruity.

Last came Terroir. This gin is about surprise and the Negroni made with it was no different. The Douglas fir and bay laurel came together with the citrus and spice notes from the Campari and vermouth in a uniquely aromatic feast redolent of frosty mornings, the mountains and Christmas. It was sort of recognizable as a Negroni, but with a highly distinctive green note. I’d like to try this in the equal-measure version as well, though it was good the way I made it.

All three St. George gins performed very well. For this recipe, the Botanivore was classic, the Dry Rye needed to be balanced differently, and the Terroir shone in a special way.

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