The guys discuss the seminal Aviation cocktail, made with London dry gin, fresh lemon juice, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, creme de violet (possibly), a cherry to garnish. Your tools will include a shaker, a Hawthorne strainer, a fine strainer if you like, and all of this goes in a beautiful classic cocktail coupe. Ben talks about the fun process of making a new cocktail menu. Kim discusses the upcoming whiskey dinner at Providence Restaurant with the renown Michter’s whiskey, featuring Michter’s 20 year bourbon. And . . . the guys got engaged. Not to each other, but to their longtime girlfriends, wonderful gals. Lucky guys, lucky girls, things are happening, we are flying. Which brings us back to the Aviation! Often a gateway cocktail into craft cocktail making, a touchstone of sorts, because it’s well branded, it has a great name, it is timeless. Goes beyond the fundamentals of classic sour cocktails, this is essentially a gin sour with the funky Marascino liqueur that makes the Aviation so unique. Created by Hugo Enslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallach in New York City, in the early twentieth century, first published in Enslin’s “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.” The recipe consisted of 1.5 ounces of gin, 3 quarters ounce of lemon juice, two dashes of maraschino liqueur and two dashes of creme de violet, giving it a pale, purple color. Harry Craddock, writer of the influential Savoy cocktail book, but omitting the creme violet. Meehan’s, Death & Co., suggest using almost no creme de violet, because it can have a soapy quality. Both the guys use the creme de violet ands that the name of the cocktail, the Aviation, is in reference to the color resembling the sky. Enjoy your own as the guys discuss the differences between their personal recipes and the Aviation has impacted their careers in the spirits industry. All that and more on Equal Parts: A Bartending Podcast about Cocktails.
On this week’s show we are talking about the Negroni. Easy to make, stands the test of time, nothing quite like the Negroni, it’s bitter and sweet, just like life. First experienced back at the Yard with Blake who put out Grandpa Bud’s Negroni. It’s boozy, it’s strong, for men and women. It has food possibilities, following a gastronomical tradition as far as Campari and vermouth. That category of Italian bitters, apparetif was designed to open the palate. The best Negroni in the world comes from Dante’s in New York, in the west village. They have a display case with vintage Campari bottles. They have great Garibaldis too. Campari was birthed in another cocktail, the Americano. The Americano came about because of the American expats during and after World War One. Then the Negroni apparently is named after bibulus, globetrotting Florentine count who liked his drinks strong. Go to theginfoundry.com for a more detailed version of the story. Equal parts, just like this show. One of the four or five prototype cocktails, one one one. If you’re a home bartender, try the Negroni. Campari is the bitter, vermouth and gin. The Negroni made in the glass is disappointing. You want to stir the Negroni for the dilution, just like Old Fashioned made in a mixing glass. “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you, they balance each other” Orson Welles. On the rocks or up? Depends on thirst and temperature, if it’s up it should be confused quickly, but on the rocks you can take your time, turns into a longer drink. If you follow the equal parts recipe, it’s a little sweet, a little extra dilution. Carpano Antica vermouth, a great, heavy vermouth was the first one the guys used, but now the lighter Italian or French vermouths are a nice variation. What is Vermouth? It is fortified wine. Infused with botanicals, herbs and spices, but also fortified, made stronger, like brandy, port, Madera, but vermouth is aromatized, typically a secret Monastery recipe. Good for you in the way Campari is a bitter, with medicinal qualities, good for you before or after a meal. Style of gin, London Dry for Ki, but there is so much variety that it’s fun to explore and experiment with local American, New World gins. Old Tom gin, with a woody taste. An aperitif is great for after a meal. Campari is an alcoholic liqueur, an aperitif, with different spirit strengths, depending on the country to which it is sold. Made of fruits and alcohol and water, produced by the Campari Group, invented in 1860 in Italy, colored with Carmine dye, made of beetles. First plant opened in 1904, and we love Campari! Kim remembers his dad drinking Campari and soda. There are several red bitters depending on your region. liquor.com has a list of more aperitifs, Peychaud’s, Luxado, Capaletti, Martini, Select, Contrato, Luna Amara and more. Ben prefers London dry gin as well, likes the botanical heavy more so than the citrusy American gins. Ben likes an orange twist. The Negroni has become so famous it has a Negroni Week, which is coming up! For those at home, familiarize yourself with the jigger and the ounce, not mL. Generally its an ounce of each, in a mixing glass, stirred with ice, then strained up in a coup or into a rocks glass, strained with ice and garnished with an orange zest and twist.