In search of perfection

When Negroni wanders into Jalisco.

What is perfect? Should one happen to look it up in a dictionary, they will undoubtedly stumble upon multiple explanations and variations in usage. The classic definition of perfect in cocktails, however, does not denote a flawless state of existence. It is the simple, yet genius blend of dry and sweet vermouth in a classic cocktail – be it a Manhattan or a Martini.

In the case of Paloma, a blooming vermut cafe in the heart of Nørrebro, it is a Negroni. The classic Italian aperitivo cocktail has long attained a high spot on consumers’ list of favourites to sip. And when the perfect vermouth blend meets a measure of tequila, it may just go right to the top. Even though using tequila in a classic Italian cocktail may cause vigorous hand-gestures to be thrown around in Torino, the result cannot be argued. Let’s see how the cookie crumbles.

Where else to start than with perfection. While developing the recipe, the vermouth was always meant to be a focal point of the cocktail. A half measure of each Bianco and Rosso Chazalettes brings forward a delicious bouquet smelling of citrus fruit and rhubarb, courtesy of the Bianco, and deep, musky richness from the Rosso.

30ml Ocho Blanco tequila
15ml Chazalettes Bianco della Regina vermouth
15ml Chazalettes Rosso della Regina vermouth
20ml Campari

Stir all ingredients to dilute, serve up and spray with grapefruit zest.

Opting for Bianco, rather than dry vermouth, compliments the nature of classic Negroni and doesn’t tip the flavour scales towards tartness. It is also a good pairing for the tequila in the passenger’s seat. Ocho Blanco with its light vegetal notes compliments the dry herbs from the vermouth and rounds the flavour profile in the perfect middle-point between sweet and dry. And of course, no Negroni without Campari. The everlasting battle between deeply bitter quinine and sweet orange sherbet improved many cocktails over the years and Paloma’s Perfect Negroni is no exception.

Upon its arrival to the table, a statement of high quality in products as well as in execution is presented.  Served straight up rather than on the rocks, The Perfect Negroni exudes elegance and high class. The deep, red hue reflects the beaming sunlight, casting colours around. A timeless symbol of the unfolding of spring. On the tongue a perfect marriage of vegetal notes and bittersweet, floral sensations; oddly familiar but with an identifiable twist. It is like stepping one foot out of your comfort zone and immediately falling back into your safe haven.

As summer is starting to dig its claws into Copenhagen’s neighbourhoods, the cocktails are making their way into the sun. The Perfect Negroni in a lovely and family-friendly ambience is a great enhancement of reality, not an escape. It brings the sipping to your sunshine and… what’s cooking in the kitchen? Stay tuned for the reveal of the rest of Paloma.

Until then, why not revisit another twist on a great classic? Or maybe you want to have an alcohol-free weekend, that’s also fine. Let us know about your drinking choices on Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget to cheer to our photographers as well, today’s picture galore was brought to you by Alex & Alex!

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Miriam Gradel
Much like the case of the chicken and the egg, I've never really been sure whether I started as a journalist or as a bartender. However, one thing's for sure: both require whiskey!