Beet Negroni Cocktail
I'll never forget the first time I had a Negroni. I was seated in the most glamorous 1923 cocktail lounge at the historic Biltmore Hotel. I was in my mid twenties, relatively new to living in Los Angeles and it felt all kinds intimidating, elegant and well just awesomely glamourous...even if I was most likely wearing something far too casual for the setting. Come to think of it, so was everyone else because we'd all just spilled in after a rock show down the street.
How LA, ammiright?!
A gentleman in his 80s who had worked there over 50 years was tending the bar. He offered me some bar mix (that apparently only the regulars get- with a wink) and asked if he could make me his beverage of choice. Now, how could I turn this down (precious white haired man wearing a bow tie, winks and all)!? At this particular time in my life I hadn't had the opportunity to enjoy a proper classic cocktail. Most outings were concerts or movies in the park...house parties...which called for plastic cups of wine or beer...you know the drill.
Carefully stirred, perfectly balanced and served on the most precisely hand carved cube of ice, my love of the Negroni began the moment he slid the crystal cut glass towards me...I mean, the bar mix totally sealed the deal too (wasabi peas AND check mix!? 20 year old mind blown), but the Negroni was something that immediately tasted timeless. And for the next decade, well before #negroniweek and all the variations of this cocktail appearing on most drink menus, it felt like something incredibly special to order...approving nods from bartenders and all.
And you know what, it still is. Because for me ordering (or making) a negroni means it's a special moment and even better, a fantastic memory.
Now where I love the classic...and the past few years the introduction of the bianco version has been added to the mix as well - I thought we should kick off of summer with something a little bit different. What say you to a beet negroni! Yes, this ruby root vegetable is making its way into a lot of drinks lately, but when infused with gin it becomes a sweet, earthy and a perfect companion to a quality Bianco Vermouth, such as Cinzano...and a unique negroni at that.
A color as stunning as it tastes, this Beet Negroni is indeed a special occasion drink that I'm going to add to my cocktail book of memories. Incredibly easy to make - even easier to enjoy! If you hop on this now you'll be ready to enjoy a glass of your own by the weekend - Cheers friends!
- BEET NEGRONI -
COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS (makes one cocktail)
1 oz Beet infused gin*
1 oz Campari
Add all ingredients into a cocktail pitcher filled with ice and stir well. Strain over a large cube of ice.
*BEET INFUSED GIN
2 large uncooked beets, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 liter gin
Place chopped beets into a sterile sealable container and allow to infuse for 2-3 days in a cool dark place. Strain solids from mixture and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
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