[image-2]Le Farfalle celebrates one year in Charleston this weekend by rolling out a new drink menu focused exclusively on the traditional Italian cocktail, the Negroni. Beverage Director Brad Goocher will offer 10 variations on the drink, inspired by different cultures, and you can order from the Negroni menu starting today. In addition to the Negroni roll out, the restaurant will also serve $10 porchetta sandwiches and $4 Italian lagers on Saturday.
The traditional Negroni is made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari (FYI: Campari was originally colored with carmine dye, derived from crushed cochineal insects a.k.a. beetle juice), and garnished with an orange peel. According to liquor.com, the history of the Negroni can be traced back to around 1920:
The Negroni is also one of the few cocktails with a traceable history that goes all the way back to the early 20th century. Its origins are documented in the book Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, which was written by Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffe Rivoire in Florence, Italy. The drink was created at Bar Casoni in Florence, according to Picchi, when Count Camillo Negroni ordered an Americano — sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda — with gin swapped in for the standard soda.
Now Le Farfalle’s Goocher is taking drinking matters into his own hands by taking the equation for a Negroni — one to one to one — and subbing in other ingredients. Some rules apply, of course: The three components (sometimes more in this reimagining of the drink) must be a spirit, fortified wine, and a bittering agent, but beyond that Goocher got pretty creative.
Goocher understands that both gin and campari can be divisive ingredients — he describes Negronis as both “super addictive” and “borderline painful” — so these 10 variations open up the opportunity for all drinkers.
We got to try a few of the Negronis last night — here’s our hot take on which ones to go for, depending on your mood.
The Kingston ($11), made with Appleton Estate rum, Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva, Bruto Americano, and Tiki bitters tastes like something you’d get in the Caribbean. But, like, even classier.
We are a bourbon town, aren’t we? There’s something both delightfully sweet and strikingly bitter about the Boulevardier ($13, not the classic Boulevardier), made with Henry McKenna 10 year bourbon, Del Professore vermouth rosso, and strawberry-infused campari.
South of the Border:
Mezcal is having a moment and Goocher is taking full advantage of it in the Oaxaca ($13), made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Atxa vermouth rojo, luxardo, and hopped grapefruit bitters. The smokiness of the mezcal is rounded out by the citrus of the grapefruit — refreshing.
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Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.