Monday, 18 June 2012

Antica fucking formula


Dear Barman,

Well done, no really, congratulations. Your pioneering approach to product sourcing has led you to the previously unknown wonder that is Antica Formula. Yes, that wondrous smoothness and complexity that arises from the near magical addition of vanilla. Marvel at how it adds such extra dimensions to your Negronis, Congratulate yourself on how you’re evidently a genuine mixologist, scouring product catalogues for obscure vermouths, sitting up at night reading Dave Wondrich and pretending that you’ve actually got Gerry Thomas in your back bar.

Right, can we stop for a moment, you may not have spent a large chunk of your life tasting wine, in fact you may well regard it as something that those uneducated folk who don’t drink your cocktails order. But many of us have, and one of the things that gets many of our goats is indiscriminate misuse of new oak barrels and their derivative products to add a sweet vanilla component to otherwise fine wines. Yes, you’ve probably heard people saying how they can’t stand over oaked wines, maybe you sympathise, maybe you don’t. Well your indiscriminate adding of fucking Antica Formula to my Negroni is basically the same cocking thing. Vanilla, yes it’s lovely in ice cream and crème Anglaise, but really it’s a one-note flavour and one that gets really fucking boring really fucking quickly.

So, let us all take a moment, step back from that delightfully old school European label and think about what we’re doing.  Maybe consider that the addition of your current favourite vermouth drastically changes the flavour profile of the drink that you’ve just been asked to make, and then maybe, just maybe, ask the fucking consumer if they want their Negroni to taste like it’s been swilled with vanilla sugar.

Yours sincerely

Me

9 comments:

The Shed said...

Strong, Donald, strong. I love an AF negroni, but I also love a bourbon negroni and a negroni topped with a dash of prosecco and a negroni that has been festering in an old barrel and a negr...can I have a negroni please?

Donald Edwards said...

I know it's a trifle on the strong side, I'm all in favour of experimentation in the field of Negronis, however the AF Negroni has got so ubiquitous that it's really annoying me. At Meat Liquor I was told it was the only vermouth they stocked as it was the best. Every bar I go to that has even the slightest of cocktail pretentions goes straight to it, and it pisses me right off.

The Shed said...

Variety is good. AF negronis are a wonderful thing but become overly cloying if abused. And while AF *can* be a wonderful thing in a negroni, it's also used to mask a bartender who has yet to get the balance right, and THAT is the key bit for me. A perfect Plymouth+red vermouth+Campari is pretty unbeatable.

Erez Gordon said...

Plymouth? Really?

Donald Edwards said...

Erez, what's your gin of choice? I can see where Shed is going with Plymouth, I find overly aromatic gins a bit wrong in a Negroni, and Plymouth is a bit like a good old trooper, reliable if far from exciting.

Pat said...

Pretty much comes down to the standard case of people spouting off about some vaunted product or another without actually tasting in side by side with others of its ilk, both on its own and in its intended preparations (I'd put up Negronis and Manhattans in my research).

See also people waving their dicks around about the dryness of their Martinis without ever having tried a wet Martini, or the old, insanely tedious, shaken/stirred chestnut.

Try it both ways. Trust your palate. And shut the fuck up.

Pat said...

* See also endless discussions about increasingly silly bespoke bitters which, mixed with variations on the theme of rye and amari, end up being more or less indistinguishable.

Pat said...

(And Plymouth is just fine in a Negroni. Last time I was in Florence it was Gilbeys, Beefeater and Seagrams, maybe Bombay or Tanqueray if it was a fancy joint.)

Donald Edwards said...

Pat, you put me to shame with your balanced and mature commenting. Surely you know this is the internet. I jest, I agree whole heartedly, funny your mentioning wet martinis, I realised some time ago that my preferred ratio is about 3.5:1, so I get a little annoyed when I see places using atomisers to spry the ice with vermouth, though I order them so rarely now it's more of a niggle than anything else.