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!

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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!