One of the more polarizing cocktails is the Negroni. Along with the Bloody Mary, these two drinks are either “love or hate” cocktails. The Negroni is comprised of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari in equal parts; it is intense, bitter and at the same time quite refreshing. The Archangel is in the same vein, using gin and Aperol, another quite bitter spirit.
The color is gorgeous and the nose is fantastic with a lot of herb and cuke coming to the fore. The flavors work very well together and if you really muddle the cucumber and double strain it, you will achieve a perfect balance of flavor between the gin and vegetable.
What’s particularly interesting is that Aperol is produced by the Campari company and tastes very similar, but is only 11% alcohol, compared to Campari’s typical 24% in the US. So, if you’re looking for a slightly less alcoholic product in your next Negroni, give it a try. As for the Archangel, with no sweetening agent other than a bit of muddled cucumber, I’d vote for this to be one step beyond a Negroni in terms of an aperitif type of cocktail.
The Archangel apparently traces its heritage to the Raines Law Room in NYC, but who exactly came up with the recipe I have yet to discover. If you know, please drop me a line and I’ll make sure to credit them.
1 cucumber slice
2.25 oz gin
0.75 oz Aperol
garnish: lemon twist
Muddle cucumber in mixing glass. Add gin and Aperol with ice, stir, and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon twist.