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The spring Negroni you should make all summer

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An orange twist squeezed over just before serving gives this Negroni a fresh citrus note.
(Ed Anderson)

If you’ve been to A.O.C, Tavern or Lucques in Los Angeles in the last couple of months, you might have tasted this delicious cocktail from Christiaan Rollich, who manages the bar programs there.

He blends Harry’s Berries strawberries with spices for a refreshing spin on a classic Negroni. In his new book “Bar Chef,” he shares this recipe and more of his favorite drink recipes for all seasons using local produce.

Rollich makes his own aperitivo and sweet vermouth from scratch. You can do the same following the recipes in his cookbook or simply use store-bought options. His version is great for entertaining because you can make a big batch of Negroni mix ahead of time and finish it with an orange twist just before serving.

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SANTA MONICA, CA-MAY 21, 2019: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten smells strawberries, during a visit t
Seasonal strawberries make this Negroni extra special.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Spring Negroni

View this recipe in our California Cookbook »

2 ½ hours, largely unattended. Makes 9 cocktails.

  • 1 cup American gin
  • 1 cup aperitivo
  • 1 cup sweet red vermouth
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon dried edible rose petals
  • ¼ vanilla bean
  • 9 orange twists

1 Combine the gin, aperitivo, vermouth, strawberries, water, cloves, ginger and rose in a medium saucepan. Using a small knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape the seeds out of the pod, and add the seeds and pod to the saucepan.

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2 Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat (Be careful that the flame isn’t so high that it can travel around the sides of the pan, as the alcohol in the pan will catch fire). Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries become whitish in color, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.

3 Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pushing down on the solids with a ladle or wooden spoon to extract every last drop; discard the solids. Transfer to a bottle or jar and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, or for up to 1 month.

4 For each cocktail, rub the outside of an orange twist on the inside rim of a double old-fashioned glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour about 3 ounces of the mixture into the glass. Squeeze the orange twist over the cocktail to release the oils and drop the twist, shiny side up, in the cocktail. Repeat with the remaining orange twists and negroni mixture.

Note: You can buy dried edible rose petals online, at Persian, Indian or Middle Eastern markets or at a tea shop, where it’s sold as rose petal tea.

Adapted from Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails by Christiaan Rollich and Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2019 by Christiaan Rollich. Photograph copyright © 2019 by Ed Anderson. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. All rights reserved.


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