If you've been a reader of Gastronomista for a while, you probably know that I love the Negroni. It's a modern classic and it has everything I'm looking for in a cocktail: sweet, bitter, and strong, not to discount that seductive red hue.
But sometimes, a girl must build on the classics. This spring I've been inspired by complex Amaros and all the gorgeous produce that has started to show up at the market. I found these gorgeous little artichokes, and I thought that they would be not only fantastic garnishes, but a delicious addition to a cocktail. The Italian bitter Cynar (CHEE-nar) is made predominantly from artichokes, but doesn't really taste like artichokes. So naturally, I wanted to make my own artichoke infusion.
But here's the problem, all of the vegetal infusions I've done have turned out disgustingly bitter. I've read into it a bit, and it can be blamed on oxidization. Bah!
I recently received a Sous Vide Supreme, which is opening my mind and inspiring me in more ways than any appliance has ever inspired a lady! I became interested in a Sous Vide after this summer's Tales of the Cocktail, where I was introduced to the method of Sous Vide for making "barrel aged" cocktails. Instead of leaving the cocktail to age in a barrel for 6 months, the Sous Vide rapidly ages the cocktail and also eliminates any extra oxygen from the process. Barrel aged cocktails that use vermouth should be aged in a Sous Vide instead of a barrel because the nature of the barrel aging process causes the vermouth to oxidize, thus making the cocktail extra bitter and slightly "off" tasting. I figured the method could be used for vegetable infusions as well.
|Experiments in the Sous Vide|
|Baby Artichokes & Gin|
So dear readers, behold: The Artichoke Negroni.
The Artichoke Negroni benefits from the trifecta of sweet, bitter, and strong, and a squeeze of grapefruit peel does a magnificent job of brightening up the vegetal flavors. I garnished it with a quarter of a baby purple artichoke and a grapefruit peel flower, skewered together and rested on the surface of the cocktail.
I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do.
3 Mini Artichokes, Halved
2 c. Gin
Seal in a vacuum pouch and submerge in the Sous Vide for 1 hour at 140 degrees Ferenheit.
Equipment: Sous Vide Supreme, vacuum sealer, & vacuum pouches.
Pro Tip: Use the seal function only, do not use the vacuum function when preparing liquids.
1.5 oz Artichoke Gin
1.5 oz Cocchi Americano Bianco
1 oz Cynar
Squeeze grapefruit peel over cocktail, and swipe the rim of the glass. Fold into a petal, skewer with a quarter of a fresh baby artichoke, and float on the surface of the cocktail.