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Friday Afternoon Cocktail

Gather round friends for what I hope will become a regular item of interest here at Ricochet: the Friday Afternoon Cocktail, a perfect way to finish the week and enjoy the fruits of your labors and the vine. Consider the recommendations I have to offer as the mere shared knowledge of the interested amateur, and not the professional bartender, and I encourage you to share your own thoughts in the comments below.

Let’s begin with a recommendation for what is, from my perspective, the perfect cocktail for late spring and early summer: the Negroni, a mix of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth that is flexible and adjustable for your own tastes. A favorite of Orson WellesAnthony Bourdain, and the fetching Elizabeth Banks, professional drinker Kingsley Amis termed it a “really fine invention - It has the power, rare with drinks and indeed with anything else, of cheering you up.”

There are numerous spins on the Negroni – the standard is an equal measure of each ingredient on the rocks, plus a slice of orange or orange peel – but here is my favored approach. You can use just about any gin, but I would suggest using a more robust one, as opposed to the subtler versions, lest it be overwhelmed by the Campari. My own approach cuts back on that a bit with Aperol, which will make for a sweeter Negroni. Feel free to ignore that if you don’t have a sweet tooth. Thus:

  • 1 part Bluecoat gin

  • 1 part Carpano Antica Vermouth
  • .5 part Campari
  • .5 part Aperol

Combine, with ice, in a mixing glass. Stir, strain into an old fashioned glass, garnish with an orange peel if available (but not required).

  1. Diane Ellis
    C

    I really like this new feature.  I have no idea what Campari is, though, so this drink will be a surprise.

    And is that a photo of the Domenech home bar?

  2. Casey

    I enjoy a Campari and soda and I’m sure I’d enjoy a Negroni but I’m two Yuenglings in tonight and it’s too late to switch.

  3. fenriswolfkpc

    Mine is equal parts of Campari, sweet vermouth and Gin with just a splash of freshly juiced orange (peel included)

  4. Ben Domenech
    C
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: I really like this new feature.  I have no idea what Campari is, though, so this drink will be a surprise.

    And is that a photo of the Domenech home bar? · 24 minutes ago

    Yes, with Steve Penley’s Hamilton above it!

  5. Pseudodionysius

    A Vesper martini.

    Top that Ricochet elites.

  6. KC Mulville

    I like the idea of the post. I’m always on the lookout for an enjoyable spirit. My “usual” is an Irish boilermaker … Guinness and a Jameson’s chaser. 

    One of my favorite pastimes is to simply ask the bartender to make me his/her best drink … and usually they enjoy the challenge. But after a while, all of their “best” drinks involve some overly-fruity concoction, because they’re just trying to be different. 

    I’m looking forward to the Negroni. And geez, I’m getting a little thirsty even as I type. 

    See you guys around …

  7. Kervinlee

    When summer comes, and the summer fruits come in, it’s time for a Bellini; pitt and quarter fresh, ripe white peaches including skins and puree in a blender. Fill half a chilled champagne flute with the puree, and top off with Prosecco. Stir with your trusty cocktail spoon and it’s la dolce vita.

  8. Brasidas

    What a great post to finish the week with, Ben.  I had the same question Diane did about that being the Domenech home bar.  Like that you place Hamilton above Jefferson, by the way.  I will try your Negroni, but you have me in mind this afternoon of my old standby, Makers Mark on the rocks. 

  9. Sumomitch

    I’m a fan of Papa, and of Papa’s favorite drink: the Mojito.

    1 and 1/2 shots of Bacardi Limon, juice from 1 and 1/2 fresh squeezed lime, 3/4 shot of cane juice, 4 fresh leaves of crushed mint, poured into a glass 1/2 full of crushed ice, top to full with soda water and add 2 leaves of fresh mint.

    I cannot emphasize enough the importance of fresh ingredients; premixes are not the same drink.

  10. shana davidson

    You are only NOT a “professional bartender” because none of us pay you for it.  You are, however, excellent at the job.  Your great work in this area is much appreciated!

  11. Bassett and Wilson

    I will try a negroni tonight. I also suggest a central waters illumination IPA. Great Wisconsin craft beer.

  12. wilber forge

    A Dublin Boilermaker, only one. Irish whiskey, Guinnes  Stout and Campagne in the correct measures. Consume and enjoy slowly with meal or cigar.

  13. Andy

    Great idea, Ben.

  14. PTomanovich

    Jameson on ice (or Tullamore Dew because the bottle is shorter and fits in my cupboard).

    The purists say you should never put ice in whiskey but – similar to being governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book over the Harvard faculty – I prefer the ice.

    Happy Friday.  And cheers to the Al picture over the bar!

  15. Matt Smith

    The Friday cocktail is a tradition at our house. In Houston, late spring really means summer, and summer calls for gin and citrus.Today, the choice was a Pegu Club:1.5 oz Old Tom gin (Ransom is a good choice)3/4 oz lime juice3/4 oz CointreauDash Angostura Dash orange bitters

  16. Ben Domenech
    C
    Matt Smith: The Friday cocktail is a tradition at our house. In Houston, late spring really means summer, and summer calls for gin and citrus.Today, the choice was a Pegu Club:1.5 oz Old Tom gin (Ransom is a good choice)3/4 oz lime juice3/4 oz CointreauDash Angostura Dash orange bitters · 13 hours ago

    Excellent, Matt! And yes, Houston really just has the seasons of Early Summer, Midsummer, OhgodI’mmelting, Late Summer, and Spring Football.

  17. Mama Toad

    We Toads are simple folk. Gin and tonic is still the beverage of choice, with the Beefeater gin chilled in the freezer, nice fresh limes,  and generous amounts of ice. Papa Toad serves me these while I grill fish on Fridays…

  18. Pseudodionysius
    Mama Toad: We Toads are simple folk. Gin and tonic is still the beverage of choice, with the Beefeater gin chilled in the freezer, nice fresh limes,  and generous amounts of ice. Papa Toad serves me these while I grill fish on Fridays… · 1 hour ago

    Edited 1 hour ago

    A Vesper Martini might scare away the bears.

  19. Susan in Seattle

    What a nice idea for Friday afternoons.  We will look forward to more recipes.

    Now that liquor is available at the supermarket two blocks from my house,  I can get the ingredients more readily.  Until the 1st of June we had to hunt down the seemingly secret – and sacred – state liquor stores.

    (And a Vesper Martini sounds quite civilized.)