Recipe: Kingston Negroni

Recipe: Kingston Negroni

Here’s another good cocktail to remind you of that vacation you’ve been meaning to take. The Kingston Negroni was created by bartender Joaquín Simó while he worked at the infamous Death & Co. in New York. By Mr. Simó’s own admission, the cocktail immediately came to him in a bolt of peculiar inspiration the first time he tasted Smith & Cross Jamaican rum. There are lots of delicious Negronis recipes out there, but the use of rum – and an overproof, funky Jamaican rum at that – makes this one a real standout.

It’s a super easy cocktail to make. As easy as, well, a Negroni. The only catch is, to make it as originally intended, you need the extra-funky, extra-bold Smith & Cross rum. Once you’ve got that, Mr. Simó would also insist that your sweet vermouth be Carpano Antica Formula, a bigger vermouth with enough body and complexity to withstand the flavor beating of a uniquely brash Jamaican rum. After that, it’s just an equal part of Campari to make it a true Negroni. Easy peasy.

Given the seemingly discordant ingredients, it’s a surprisingly balanced and supremely approachable cocktail. The caramel sweetness and spice in the rum complement the vermouth, like you’d find in a classic Manhattan, but the mix of bitter citrus and tropical fruit notes add a layer of unique complexity. While perhaps not as brightly flavored as a traditional gin Negroni with its herbs and spices (depending on the gin, of course) there’s a silky richness to this one that makes it ideal for summer or winter sipping.

Kingston Negroni
1 oz. Smith & Cross rum
1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari

Add all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, preferably a large cube, and garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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