The Blue Jeans Ball + Your Easter Cocktail
Every year, the Capital Area Food Bank throws a tasting gala called The Blue Jeans Ball to raise money to ‘take hunger off the map.’ This year, Union Kitchen hosted a pre-ball cocktail hour and asked us to join in. Since we’re fans of good causes and of galas (though we usually look at them as an occasion to dress up, rather than down); so we enthusiastically agreed.
That’s how we ended up at the Marriott Marquis’ fabulous mezzanine lounge, in our best denim, slinging spring cocktails side-by-side with our beverage buddies at Wild Roots Apothecary and Embitterment. I have to say that there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than serving drinks, in a great spot, with good people, for a good cause.Plus, we came up with a drink idea that we think will be perfect for Easter dinner. Like so many of our drink ideas, this one is based on the Negroni. We re-tooled it as a celebration of spring, with a crisper palate, floral notes, and a pale blush color–oh, and fresh fruit and herbs.
We used Don Ciccio‘s hibiscus liqueur in place of the usual Campari. Like everything they make, it’s fresh and delicious, and ever more widely available. If you are sadly in one of those places where they haven’t arrived yet, St. Germain or Cocchi Americano will serve admirably in the Ibisco’s spot. They’ll both bring that same light, floral flavor, though unfortunately not the pretty blush color.
Your Spring Negroni
- 1 oz vodka (we use Svedka)
- 1 oz dry vermouth (we used Dolin)
- 1 oz Don Ciccio & Figli Ibisco (or substitute, see above)
- assorted herbs and fruit for muddling and garnish (we offered mint, cucumber, raspberries, and blackberries; people tried them and liked them individually and in every combination)
- muddle selected fruits and herbs in bottom of mixing glass
- add liquor and ice
- stir for 40 rotations and strain into a cocktail glass
- add a fresh piece of whatever you muddled for garnish