It's Negroni Week and I can't let it go by without doing my version. You know me, I cannot let well enough alone and a classic Negroni is very "well enough" with it's  perfect ratio of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari nicely garnished with an orange peel. But you've seen a ton of that classic recipe this week so why not try it with a little Martini Diva twist?

I didn't do much meddling with the classic Negroni, just added a few blackberries and switched out the sweet vermouth for Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth. Punt e Mes translates to "point and a half" in Piedmontese*, referring to the flavor being one point of sweetness and half a point of bitterness. It is more bitter than sweet vermouth and, I  think, balances nicely with the extra sweetness from the blackberries. Then I used 209 Gin because I think the citrus and floral botanicals complement the blackberries.

Now I  know a lot of you like your happy hour sweet, as do I, most of the time. I have a gigantic sweet tooth even when it comes to my drinks, but a walk on the wild side of the bitter truth of imbibing is a wonderful change and suits the palate occasionally. It perks up those taste buds and refreshes a sip at a time. Just keep your perking and refreshing to one or two of these, they're powerful magic!

Ready to take that walk on the wild side?? Then get your bitter booze set and go:


8 Blackberries
1 Oz. 209 Gin
1 Oz. Campari
1 Oz. Punt e Mes
Orange Peel

TOOLS: Mixing glass, Bar spoon, Julep strainer, Mesh strainer, Old Fashioned glass

Place 7 of the blackberries in your mixing glass and muddle.
Add your gin, the Campari and the Punt e Mes then fill the mixing glass with ice.
Stir and double strain into your chilled glass.
Express the oils of your orange peel over the drink, rub around the rim, twist and drop the peel in the glass. Garnish with the last blackberry and enjoy.

The Negroni

If you're a bit shy of experimenting with the bitter side of cocktails, let Anthony Bourdain convince you:

* Piedmontese is a Romance language spoken in Piedmont, a region of northwest Italy.

Updated 9-2020

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