Negroni Nation

The other day I had a recipe for a Punt e Mes negroni, so I played around with several variations last night.

Punt e Mes, if you're not familiar with it, is an Italian quinquina. On the bottle it calls itself a vermouth, but it's very close to Campari. Sort of halfway between the two,

The recipe for a negroni called for an ounce of gin (I used Tanqueray 10), ounce of sweet vermouth, half ounce of PeM. A good drink: I don't usually like sweet vermouth, but it worked here, maybe because of the quasi bitterness from the PeM.

An option at the bottom of my calendar page was to top it with club soda, so for my second attempt I did that. Nope - just confirms my bias that you shouldn't dilute most (good) liquor with water, bubbles or not.

No. 3 was a negroni with just the PeM, increased to an ounce, and no vermouth. This one didn't work; it had a sharp edge. The sweet vermouth definitely helps mellow it out.

And, last but not least, the classical negroni with Campari and sweet vermouth (in equal parts) and only a half ounce of gin. I didn't like this as much as the original PeM, vermouth, and gin version (maybe because that has twice as much gin). The bitterness of the Campari overwhelms this negroni, whereas the herbs and other secret ingredients are much subtler in the PeM version.

Now just try to find bars and restaurants that stock Punt e Mes to make it with.