Monday, June 1, 2015

Negroni Week: Fail-Safe

Negroni Fail-Safe

Last week was my 2015 Summer Cocktails Week, but this week is Negroni Week (a partnership between Imbibe magazine and Campari), so I couldn't resist sharing one more cocktail.

This one is from the Death & Co. book, which you're probably tired of me talking about, but I really can't stress enough what a great resource it is.

Near the back of the back is a variety of recipes that are variations on popular cocktails, including nine variations on the Negroni.

A basic Negroni, which I shared a recipe for last week, is gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Thus, it's a base spirit plus something bitter and something sweet in equal parts, which the book notes makes a great starting point for variations.

Wanting a Negroni variation made with Aperol, an Italian aperitif that's less bitter and a little sweeter than the Negroni's usual Campari, I was attracted to the Fail-Safe. The drink, invented by Scott Teague, combines navy-strength gin and Aperol with sloe gin, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao and angostura bitters. The drink is a little less sunny, a littler darker than the usual Negroni, and for that, I absolutely love it.

The drink calls for Perry's Tot Navy-Strength Gin, which is produced by New York Distilling Co. I don't have that on hand, so I just used a typical London Dry gin, beefeater. I do, however, have the other ingredients, and I definitely recommend seeking out the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, as it's a unique ingredient less sweet than typical orange liqueurs.

If you like the idea of making variations on favorite cocktails, Death & Co. gives a similar treatment to the Sazerac, Daiquiri, Manhattan and Old Fashioned.

From Death & Co.

3/4 oz. Perry's Tot Navy-Strength Gin (note: lacking this, I used Beefeater, and the drink was still good)
3/4 oz. Plymouth Sloe Gin
1/2 oz. Aperol
1/2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass. Add ice and stir until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass with a single large ice cube. No garnish.

Like Aperol? Here are a few more cocktails made with it:

Aperol Spritz - A classic summer cocktail with sparkling wine and orange juice.

Oscar Cocktails: Her - Aperol and Campari join hands with gin, ginger, lemon and rosemary in this colorful drink inspired by the 2013 film.

Tomato at Midnight - A summery drink with moonshine, lemon and roasted tomato syrup.

Light My Fire - A smoky/spicy use for Aperol mixed with Mezcal, jalapeño syrup and lime.

June Sunrise - A smoky cocktail with Laphroaig Scotch and whiskey-barrel-aged bitters.

August Sunset - A refreshing end-of-summer gin drink with lemon, elderflower liqueur and bitters.

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