MonteNegroni No. 2

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Happy #NegroniWeek to y’all! #NegroniWeekend? Either way, Happy Friday!

I’ve been working on this drink since I got back from Belgium cause I am in looooove with Copperhead Gin and it goes really well with Amaro Montenegro.

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Like, I’m so into this Gin that I bought it twice. The Juniper is there but there are also loads of Pine, Angelica, Cardamom, Coriander, and spice notes. It’s super smooth and I want to drink it all the damn time.

*WILL SOMEONE IN NORTH AMERICA PLEASE START IMPORTING COPPERHEAD GIN FROM BELGIUM? K thanx.

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But back to the point: Last year I made the first¬†MonteNegroni and I loved it. This year I made it again but swapped out Copperhead for Plymouth Gin, Dolin Blanc for Carpano Antica…and then I thought, “Wait, this needs something else. Not a lot of something else, just a bit of something else…”

And then it hit me, “SHERRY!” I’ve noticed that 1/4 oz of Amontillado Sherry will really do magical things in a stirred drink. So here we are…I broke the rules again. Another Four-Ingredient-Negroni coming right up!

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Don’t forget to stirrrrrrrrrrr til the light of heaven shines down upon you and your heart smiles. ūüôā ‚̧

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MonteNegroni No. 2

  • 1 oz Copperhead Gin (sub any dry, Angelica forward Gin)
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/4 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr until the skies open up and you see the light of heaven. Strain into a double Rocks glass over ice. Express Orange peel and garnish.

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Cheers and may your soul sparkle with the power of the MonteNegroni!

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Melissa Negroni

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I’m¬†going FULL #NegroniWeek here at Home Bar Girl because I love rules. Yes, as hilarious as that sounds about a “grrrrrl making fabulous cocktails”, it’s true. The thing I dig about the Negroni rules are that it forces me to stick to an idea. And even though I really like to break the Negroni Rule of 3 (hello, I’m all about a four ingredient Negroni variation), I still have to keep the spirit of the drink intact.

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Today’s variation was totally inspired by my fave summer Gin: Bimini Gin. The very first time I tried this Gin, I knew I wanted to put it in a Negroni Bianco. Bimini Gin is a light, bright Gin from Maine and though the juniper is there, it takes a back seat to a whole bunch of citrus notes.

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And when I find a Gin that’s full of Citrus notes, I think “MELISSA!” Yes y’all, it’s time for another cocktail with Lemon Balm cause I cannot get enough of Melissa officinalis.

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Something else about Bimini Gin in a Negroni Bianco made me want to use two kinds of Dolin Vermouth. The Blanc cause duh, but the Dry was calling my name from the fridge. So I said, “Ok, y’all can both be in the drink but only if the Salers agrees to it!” The Salers DID agree, so here we have a four ingrdient Negroni Bianco. (Rules? What rules?)

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Sweet Melissa, how I love thee, let me count the springtime ways!

Melissa Negroni

  • 1 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1/2 Salers Aperitif

Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Spank the Melissa, rub it on the rim of the glass, and garnish.

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SUUUUUUPER nice for this late spring #NegroniWeek! Cheers!

Bimini Gin: Sunshine in a Bottle

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Woooooohoo-hoo-hoo y’all, I’ve got it! I’ve got the fun¬†we’ve been looking for!

I recently had the supreme pleasure of tasting a new Gin at Pouring Ribbons here in NYC. It was one of their Monday night 80s parties and they were making Pretty In Pink themed cocktails. I saw a tasty looking Negroni variation with Bimini Gin, Campari, Red Grapefruit + some other fun stuff and ordered one.

It was totally awesome and the Gin was soooooooo good!

Bimini-Gin

Like SO SO SO GOOD! Fortunately for me, Darren Case (creator of Bimini) was at the party handing out samples of his fabulous Gin and I got to taste it.

With notes of Citrus peel, flowers, Coriander, Cardamom, a shimmering viscosity, and some kind of extra magic, Bimini Gin is literally perfect for hot weather cocktails. Like, I want to make a million Tom Collins with this stuff.

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But first things first, what do we do when we get a new Gin? We make a Martini.

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For Bimini Gin, I felt a Melissa Martini was the best way to go cause this bright, sunny Gin is begging for Lemon Balm + Dolin Blanc.

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I’ve changed the ratios from the original Melissa Martini and nixed the Absinthe to better pair with the lightness of Bimini Gin.

Melissa Martini No. 2

  • 2 1/4 oz Bimini Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc (Carpano Bianco would be awesome too)
  • Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr til it becomes a bit cloudy. Strain into chilled coupe. Spank the Lemon Balm leaf, rub it on the glass, smell it, and garnish.

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You can bet I will be making more cocktails with Bimini Gin, so stay tuned! Cheers to our upcoming summer weather!

Our Summer Martini: Melissa Martini

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As temperatures climb, I’m looking for ways to have lower and lower octane cocktails. I want deliciousness, but I want it light and fragrant y’all. It’s time to break out the Blanc Vermouth, brightest Gin you have, some tasty Absinthe, and fresh herbs for garnish.

Herb Plants

I recently took a trip down to my local plant shop and got Lemon Balm and Mint to add to the recently acquired Basil plant. If you haven’t smelled Lemon Balm before, it’s definitely Lemony but also astringent, kind of minty and herbaceous in an Anise sort of way. In otherwords, it’s perfect as a cocktail garnish.

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I mean, look at it this Lemon Balm! It’s a stunning leaf and so wonderfully fragrant. I highly recommend getting a plant and putting it in your garden or window sill. Lots of sun & water = happy Lemon Balm.

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I’m actually so into the Lemon Balm that I named the drink Melissa which is the greek name for this plant. I am of course using the Berkshire Mountain Distillery Ethereal Gin Batch 9 because it’s supremely bright, floral, fragrant, and well, it makes me feel happy. If you can get this Gin, do it!

Melissa Martini

  • 1 1/2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillery Ethereal Gin Batch 9 (sub the brightest Gin you’ve got)
  • 1 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc (Sub Carpano Bianco)
  • rinse St. George Absinthe Verte
  • Garnish: Lemon Balm leaf

Rinse a coupe with Absinthe and chill. Combine Gin and Blanc over ice and give it a very very long stir. Dilution is key to the lightness of this Martini. Strain into rinsed coupe, spank the Lemon Balm and garnish.

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Cheers!

#NegroniWeek 2015 – Negroni Blanc

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Welcome to #NegroniWeek 2015! Negroni Week is put on by Campari and Imbibe Magazine as a charity drive for bars and restaurants to participate in. You can find out all about it here.

We’ve done it! We’ve reached the end of Negroni Week! Did you have a good time? Make any good Negroni Variations? Did you totally run out of that Bottled Negroni that we made in a¬†post from May 31st? I totally did.

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If you’ve read this blog for awhile, then you know I love the Negroni Bianco in all its forms. I love sipping them on a sunny Sunday afternoon, while reading a good book, or sneaking one into the park. I love having one in place of a Martini when I want something a little less boozy and a little more flavourful. It seems only fitting that we end #NegroniWeek with this nice soothing variation.

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The Negroni Blanc uses two white Vermouths instead of a Vermouth and a Gentian Liqueur (like Suze or Salers), a bit of Pernod Pastis, and one of my new favourite Gins, Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11.¬†I got this fabulous Gin whilst I was on vacation in the Berkshires a couple of weeks ago because it’s a totally awesome Modern American Gin. With notes of cinnamon & allspice¬†in addition to the regular set of Gin botanicals and a viscosity that you can almost sink your teeth into, the BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 is perfect for the Negroni Blanc.

Negroni Blanc

  • 1 oz BMD Ethereal Gin Batch 11 (sub Greenhook Dry, Dorothy Parker, Hayman’s Old Tom)
  • 1 oz Dolin Blanc (sub Lillet Blanc)
  • 1 oz Carpano Dry (sub Dolin Dry)
  • 1 dash Pernod Pastis (sub Herbsaint, Pernod Absinthe)
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into coupe. Express Lemon Peel and garnish.

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Oh, and last night I got new vintage coupes! Beautiful eh? The wonderful people at Adaptations NY are now responsible for around half of my vintage glassware collection. Thanks y’all!

I’m on a Podcast + The Other White Negroni

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Woo! Y’all, it’s me, my new fave Hawaiian Shirt and The Other White Negroni at¬†Smock Podcasting for the show Strong Takes! That’s right, I’m on a podcast!¬†(Episode 10 – Dani DeLuna)¬†A very nice dude named Corey Smock interviewed me and asked me all sorts of questions about being a Home Bar Girl. I brought a drink for us to share called The Other White Negroni and we chatted about various topics.

Topics like:

It was loads of fun and Corey is the nicest man in the world, so head over to iTunes and check it out!

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Recording gear and The Other White Negroni

If Corey liked it, I’m sure y’all are going to love The Other White Negroni. (Corey used to be a bartender and he knows what’s up.) The inspiration for this drink is my total obsession with White Negronis aka, Negroni Bianco. I actually have an entire post dedicated to several White Negroni Variations and since then I’ve probably created five or six more. For this particular cocktail, I used Fennel infused Dolin Blanc¬†cause it’s divine.

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Fennel infused Dolin Blanc

  • 300 ml Dolin Blanc
  • approx 1/2 Fennel Bulb

Roughly chop Fennel Bulb and combine in jar, stirring every hour or so. Infuse for around 5.5 hrs, then fine strain.

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The Other White Negroni

  • 1 oz Denizen Aged White Rum (Banks 5 Year Rum would also be awesome)
  • 3/4 oz Fennel infused Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin (Plymouth Gin would also be awesome)
  • 1/2 oz Salers Aperitif (Suze Aperitif would also be awesome)
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into Double Rocks glass over ice. Express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Damn. I cannot get enough of these Negroni Bianco and I cannot tell you how excited I am to be on this episode of Strong Takes!

Cheers!

First Waltz: an orchestra in a Cocktail

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Edit: if you’re here for #SherryWeek,¬†get ready for one of the best Sherry¬†Cocktails ever. ūüôā

I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of weeks cause it’s the best stirred drink with Gin that I’ve ever made.¬†No seriously, it is. It’s a total showstopper. I’m holding my breath just writing about it. I’m actually drinking a different Cocktail (Ancho Chile Tequila, Pineapple, Cointreau some other stuff that I won’t divulge, #TequilaSeason) and thinking of throwing it out and making another First Waltz.

Ok, enthusiasm overload aside, the real deal with this is that I’ve been working on creating flavour arcs. I want my Cocktails to take us on a journey, to make our mouths and noses say, “oh this is…woah, now it’s…oh my goodness…duuuuude.” I feel like a great drink should take you on an adventure. In the way that a really great Bordeaux will take you straight to that region of France and change several times in your mouth/nose, cocktail ingredients should enter at different times once you’ve taken a sip.

Perhaps we should think of fine Cocktails like we think of an orchestra.

For First Waltz we experience: Gin, wide on the bright tones and treble (brass, wind instruments). Dolin Blanc providing a great support in the mid range (viola, violin, upper cello range). Fino sherry in the long base notes with fig, raisin, nuttiness, and salinity (double bass, bass clarinet, tuba, timpani). Finally Apricot again as a bright, trebbly wide note (flute, oboe solo, cymbals). The Apricot is actually what stays in your mouth the longest and which inspired the name of this springiest of spring cocktails. The Nutmeg garnish merely serves to reinforce the nutty notes of the Fino Sherry and tie the drink together (the conductor).

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Bl√ľten der Wachauer Marille (Apricot blooms from the Klosterneuberg region, these are called Marille locally)

Both Rothman & Winter and the Bitter Truth Apricot liqueurs come from Aprikosen in the Klostenberg region of Austria. So, no matter which Apricot liqueur you choose, you get the most beautiful Apricot and Floral notes. From such a lovely liqueur comes great inspiration. Of course my musical mind immediately went to the Strauss family and their legacy of waltzes.

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First Waltz

  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc
  • 1/2 oz Inocente Fino Sherry
  • 1/4 oz* Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur (or Bitter Truth Apricot)
  • Garnish: freshly grated Nutmeg

Combine ingredients over ice and stir until proper dilution has been achieved. Strain into chilled coupe, garnish with freshly grated Nutmeg.

*Keep in mind that this is a very exact recipe. Too much Apricot and the whole drink is off.

By the bye, this is totally a Flavor Bible drink meaning that I looked up Apricot in the bible and went from there. If you don’t have this book, get it! It’s the best tool for anyone creating recipes in the Kitchen.

May this be as exciting to you as it was to me! Bravo!