This smoked cocktail is a twist on the classic negroni. Made with smoked simple syrup and mezcal it’s the perfect smoky cocktail for cocktail parties.
What’s In A Negroni?
Click Here To Find Out How To Make A Negroni
Because it’s only 3 ingredients, the negroni is open to endless experimentation. Sub bourbon for gin and you have a boulevardier. Sub prosecco for vermouth and you have a sbagliatto. The list goes on and on.
As a food and cocktail blogger brands sometimes send me samples of high quality booze. One brand sent me some very fine tequila reposado. Naturally, since I’m such a huge negroni fan I decided to make a tequila negroni. It was fantastic and one day my blog will have something to say about that.
What Is Mezcal?
Later that week, my cousin (AKA Mr. Hyde) was moving so he gifted me most of his liquor including a bottle of mezcal. Simply put, mezcal is a liquor made from distilled agave. But so is tequila. So, what’s the difference between tequila and mezcal?
Here’s the skinny: mezcal is defined as any liquor made from the agave plant, which is a very wide umbrella. Tequila is only considered tequila if it is made from blue agave and much like how champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France, Tequila can only come the Mexican town of Tequila and its surrounding area.
Mezcal has a notably smokier taste than tequila and that smokiness comes from a process in which the piñas (or hearts of the agave plant) are slow roasted in an underground pit for about 3 days. They are then mashed and left to ferment.
So How The Hell Do I Make A Smoky Negroni?
Alright, you’re right. I’ve gone on long enough. Let’s start drinking. Get yourself a rocks glass and fill it with ice. Pour in 1 ounce Campari, 1 ounce mezcal, and 3/4 of an ounce of sweet vermouth. To add a little bit of extra smokiness, I add 1/4 of an ounce of smoked simple syrup. Stir and serve!
Smoked Simple Syrup? That Sounds Hard!
It’s actually not and smoked simple syrup is one of those things that I feel every bar needs. It allows you to add smoky flavor to just about any cocktail. In this case, it give this smoky mezcal negroni just enough extra smokiness without being overwhelming.
But How Did You Get That Charred Orange Garnish?!
Oh I almost forget! All you have to do to get that pretty charred orange garnish is preheat your oven’s broiler. While it’s heating, cut an orange into slices (I used a Valencia), pat them dry, and lay them out flat on a 9×13 baking sheet. Pop it in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes on each side. Allow the slices to cool, cut a little slit in them, and affix them to your glass.