If you’re unfamiliar with the Negroni, we have questions for you - such as how, why, and where have you been? This bitter, boozy classic has gained such a loyal following over the past century that we now have an entire week designated in its honor.
The official recipe calls for equal parts gin, Campari (a bright red bitter Italian liqueur), and sweet vermouth, a template ripe for the riffing. This year, in honor of the triumphant return of legendary hibiscus liqueur Sorel, New York City’s reigning cocktail queen Pam Wiznitzer has created a particularly delicious variation in honor of beloved industry icon Gary “Gaz” Regan, who passed away in 2019.
Jackie Summers, Sorel’s creator, gives a bit of context to Wiznitzer’s recipe: "This Negroni variation was constructed as an ode to Gaz and the beautiful friendship we shared. He was also a supporter of my work, and we had many mutual loves when it came to spirits—especially whiskey," he shares. Swapping in high-proof rye whiskey instead of gin, Wiznitzer notes that the drink is done in the style of a Rosita (a classic cocktail popularized by Regan) and is garnished just the way he would’ve wanted it.
"This Negroni[...]allows Sorel to shine next to Campari—because of the layers of flavors found in this drink, I highly suggest that it be stirred and served on the rocks for further dilution,” says Wiznitzer. “And, like Gaz garnished his drink, a twist of orange with the oils expressed." Here’s how to make the Gaz Regan Negroni at home.
1 oz high proof rye (50% or higher)
.75 oz Sorel
.75 oz Campari
.5 oz dry vermouth
Orange oils (graciously added, spritz a second of you’d like).
Instructions: combine ingredients and stir. Pour over fresh ice in a lowball glass and garnish with orange oils and a twist.