We stumbled upon this one a couple of weeks ago and it caught my attention. It comes from Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey bar in New York and is a cross between a Negroni and a Gin Sour. I don’t care for Negronis, but I love Gin Sours, so I thought that maybe this one was for me, plus it is said to be “the ideal drink to introduce a novice to Campari!” Since, I have struggled with Campari I figured I’d give it a shot, plus it has whole white grapes in it and when I got home I found that Laura had gotten fresh white grapes at the store today, I figured it was a sign. So, join me as we stand and make, the Enzoni.
The grapes sold me on this one. I have found that I tend to really enjoy drinks where you put whole pieces of fruit of herbs or peppers or whatever in the shakers. Seriously, go back through thee drinks and you will find that I pretty much love everything that needs muddling, except the Mint Julep, which I like, but not like like that, we are just friends, really. Anyway, reading this recipe I really hoped I would finally find something I loved Campari in and it would have the added benefit of being sort of a cool way to approach the Negroni. So let’s make it and see what happens.
Grab your tins and pop in 5 white grapes, I suppose it would work with any grape, but that is what the recipe calls for. Why are we calling these grapes white anyway? They are green, clearly. So pop in 5 green grapes and muddle them. Don’t beat them up too hard, just make sure the skins are broken well, so they will mix with the other ingredients. To that add, 1 Ounce of gin, I went with Mahon Xoriguer Spanish gin, cause it’s made with a grape base; 1 ounce of that bitter devil Campari, 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Add ice and shake well, before straining over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary from the garden and serve.
It is so good in that first sip. You can really taste the grapes and the gin, it is lovely. Like sitting in a street side cafe, enjoying the people walking by the sights and smells of the city just after a rain. That fresh petrichor, feeling of spring. Then a garbage truck drives by and you are hit in the face with something that turns your tongue inside out. There is the Campari, showing up right on time to bring that bitter aftertaste, so many love. I am not one of the so many. Which is weird, I really like a lot of bitter things, but Campari just hits me wrong. I am glad people love it, and I am going to keep trying, since I bought a big bottle, but I still haven’t found a way that it works for me. That said, if you enjoy a Negroni, I think you are going to love this one. It really does have a lot going on. I drank the whole thing, basically chasing sip with sip to ride the front edge of that wonderful flavor, saving all that Campari bitterness for the end. By the way, I think that bitterness is cumulative, it just keeps building and waiting for the other flavors to get out of the way. If I surfed the front edge of the Enzoni flavor wave, when I crashed, I crashed and burned as Campari raked me across the bitter coral bottom of its tongue shredding taste. Still it was worth a try, you have to try new things and expand your horizons, all it costs is a little time and dignity. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.