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.
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.