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After growing up in Italy, Nitecap’s (120 Rivington Street; 212-466-3361) head bartender and co-owner Natasha David looks at Campari in a different light than most people. “I have Campari in my blood stream.” David says. She’s not joking, especially considering this is Negroni Week.
While she was developing the menu for Nitecap, David knew she wanted to focus on classic cocktails with unique twists, so she set her sights on making a hybrid between the bourbon-based boulevardier and the traditional gin negroni.
Campari is notable for its bitterness, so David turned to one of her favorite flavors to help balance the All In cocktail: chocolate. The addition of crème de cacao is ” a gentle way to introduce someone to Campari,” as David explains. But the chocolate-flavored liqueur doesn’t turn the drink into a dessert. Overproof rye — one that contains more than 50% alcohol — gives the drink a base of spice; when made correctly an All In doesn’t sway too far into being categorized as too bitter, too sweet, too spicy.
“Keep your hands away from the ice-cold glass,” David advises. “You want the cocktail to be served up (without ice) so you don’t dilute it.”
Though David may need a break after negroni week ends, she has another go-to cocktail she likes to enjoy at places like Death and Co. and Mayahuel.
“I love margaritas, on the rocks with salt. They get me into trouble.” She might be joking on this one. Below, find David’s negroni recipe; it will help your blood maintain a continuous supply of Campari.
Ingredients: 1 1/2oz. WT 101 Rye (any overproof rye is preferable) 3/4 oz. Campari 3/4 oz. Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth 1/4 oz. Crème de Cacao
Stir and strain into a Nick and Nora glass, or any glass with a long stem. This makes the drink easier to grasp and will prevent your hands from coming into contact with the chilled cup. Garnish with a lemon twist.