Not Quite Negroni Week: the Luberon Cocktail Recipe
It seems we’re destined to be a little behind. The first week of June, 6000 bars and restaurants were mixing up one of our favorite cocktails for Negroni Week. We were oblivious until, midweek, we started to see some of our favorite bartenders posting their Negroni Week photos on twitter.
Well, better late than never, right? Two weeks after Negroni Week proper, we’re holding our own Not Quite Negroni Week, featuring 5 not quite Negronis. All of them follow the wonderfully balanced classic Negroni pattern (1 part spirit: 1 part fortified wine: 1 part liqueur), and many of them contain at least one of the original Negroni ingredients (gin, sweet vermouth, Campari); but they also stretch the bounds of what it means to be a Negroni in one way or another.
One of the defining characteristics of a Negroni is bitterness. But what if you’re feeling more genial? We wanted something with a Negroni’s proportions and balance, but with a flavor that felt more like a warm kiss than a bracing slap.
We knew we wanted something floral, and apparently we were in a purple mood; so we started with creme de violette. It was quite companionable. Just to do our due diligence, though, we thought we should try at least one more purple flower liqueur. So, we cracked open the bottle of lavender liqueur we brought home from Provence last year. Wow. It’s shockingly good. There’s the floral sweetness we were hoping for. But it doesn’t dominate, instead bringing out the best of the dry, aromatic flavors of the gin and vermouth as well.
We’ve gotten pretty good at guessing ahead of time how a particular mix might taste, but this drink really surprised us with its sophisticated, complex, yet gentle flavor.
We named the drink after the Luberon Mountains, where the lavender flowers in it were grown.
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz blanco vermouth
- 1 oz lavender liqueur–or violet if you can’t find lavender, but aim for lavender; it’s at another level.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass.
- Add ice to the level of the liquid.
- Stir until the ice is noticeably melted.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.