The classic Negroni is my cocktail. In fact, it's my family cocktail. My father loved them, as does my brother, as do I. When I see some subtle variation of the Negroni on a menu, I usually have to try it. Maybe it's with Aperol, maybe using Carpano's Antica Formula, maybe an Amaro instead of vermouth...maybe a new gin. Or the curent restaurant rage...the Barrel Aged Negroni. Aging the mixture adds depth and some nice vanilla/smoke notes. Nice.
For the barkeep in a fancy-pants restaurant, filling up a small two-hundred dollar oak barrel with a couple of hundred dollars of booze is no issue. A few busy nights pays for the whole deal. But no home cocktailian is going to go to that level of expense and spirits are volatile and can't be mindlessly oxygenated.
Oola's Waitsburg Barrel-Finished Gin is the answer.
My father would have never put a special (read expensive) gin into a Negroni. Ah, there he is wrong. What turns the ordinary cocktail into something extraordinary is the raw ingredients. I usually treat super-premium gins with kid gloves and make my in-and-out Martini as a purist treat, but this recipe dawned on my the minute I got this gin in the mail. I ordered Oola from Washington and I can't think of a better way to enjoy it.
Barrel Aged Negroni sans Barrel
1 part Oola Waitsuburg Barrel-Finished Gin
1 part Campari
a bit less than 1 part Cinzano Red Vermouth
Shake all 3 together and pour into a pre-iced Martini Glass or over fresh ice for a summertime on-the-rocks experience shown above. Garnish with small twist of orange or very small twist of lemon. For the true fan, Campari swizzle sticks are a must!