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Friday Cocktail Blogging: A Bitter Drink and DC

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I know, a day early (but it is Friday already somewhere in the world – so there you are). I will be off to Washington DC tomorrow for the weekend, doing touristy things like taking in the Cherry Blossom blooms, gaping at the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and such like. Also hoping to to enjoy any nightlife offered by the city, especially in the Georgetown area [1].

Anyhow, don’t have time for any lengthy discussion and will quickly come to the cocktail. Recently, I have been experimenting with bitters in my cocktails (e.g the Manhattan and what I called The Bitter Rose in previous editions of FCB). In the really old days, bitters – which are usually some extracts from various plants and herbs – were employed as medical potions. They are supposed to aid in digestion and therefore form the ingredients for many aperitifs and digestifs. On those lines, this week’s recommendation is a classic cocktail, The Negroni, a gin based concoction that is great as a pre-dinner cocktail (cleans the palate, wets the appetite etc).

You will need:

  • 2 parts Gin
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 part Campari
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Pre-chill a martini glass with ice and soda water. Add all the liquor ingredients to a tall glass (or the glass section of a Boston shaker) filled with crushed ice. Stir gently a few times and strain into the pre-chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. If you want you can also squeeze the oil of a small orange peel over the drink. If you do not like the bitter taste that much – I would reduce the Campari to 0.5 parts.

 This recipe is copied almost verbatim from the following video that shows how the drink is made. It tells the story of the origin of the drink (which I suspect, like most cocktail stories, is apocryphal) and also demonstrates many important bar techniques such as chilling a martini glass, making a lemon twist garnish, proper stirring etc.

Cheers, have a good weekend and drink responsibly.


[1] – Recommendations are welcome for a good place to get kebabs in the area (most probably for a take-out). And anyone in the DC area wanting to meet up pliss to e-mail.


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

March 29, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Martinis

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