My only New Year’s resolution this year was to drink more apéritifs. If you know me, this might come as a slight surprise because I don’t normally favor dry or bitter, two of the most prominent flavors in these types of drinks. What changed my mind about this specific combination of flavors was the king of apéritifs: the Negroni. Now I can’t go a week without having one before dinner. So hooray for keeping my New Year’s resolutions!
The Negroni is an Italian invention, and it usually consists of a mixture of gin, vermouth, and Campari. It’s traditionally served on the rocks garnished with a slice of orange peeI. I’ve deviated from tradition by adding Pimm’s and cucumber soda to make it feel more summery. We’ve had a really tough winter and a pretty cold spring, so I desperately need something summery in my life right now. The addition of the cucumber soda in particular lightens it up and turns it into something I can see myself sipping outside on a hot summer afternoon (which I totally intend to do).
I’ve also used Punt y Mes instead of the traditional combination of vermouth and Campari simply because I feel that this Italian vermouth gives the cocktail the slight sweetness that it needs to balance out all that bitterness. If you can’t find it, you can substitute with a mix of vermouth rosso (Carpano Antica or Cinzano Rosso, for instance) and Campari.
If you’ve never had Pimm’s, you should run to the liquor store and get some. This dark-brown liqueur is both spicy and citrusy, and it goes really well with different soda flavors. I find that it’s versatility makes it a great liqueur to have around in the summer when all you want are light and refreshing drinks (like a Pimm’s cup!)
I hope that you turn into a Negroni convert too after trying this drink! Salute!
This refreshing cocktail is easy to make and perfect for a hot summer afternoon.
- 1.5 oz Botanist gin (or your favorite gin)
- 1 oz Pimm’s no. 1
- 1 oz. Punt y Mes
- One barspoon (about ½ teaspoon) Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
- One dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
- Cucumber soda to top (optional)
- Cucumber slices or spears (depending on how you decide to serve it)
- Step 1 Fill a cocktail shaker or a tall glass about halfway up with ice.
- Step 2 Pour the ingredients into your shaker or glass and stir for 20 seconds.
- Step 3 Serve one of three ways: 1) in a coupe glass on its own or with a slice of cucumber for garnish, 2) in a highball glass on ice with a spear of peppered cucumber for garnish, 3) in a highball glass on ice and topped with cucumber soda (my favorite!)
Full disclosure. My husband, R, is the mixologist of the family. We come up with ideas together and then he helps me to get the flavors and ratios right. He gets paid in /carnitas/ for his contributions to the blog.