We love the Americano which is our go-to drink when out for a long night. We are not alone in this penchant for bitter, strong and lightly sweet flavor. Walk into almost any craft cocktail bar these days, and you will spot a comforting combination like the Reconquista at Prizefighter (Mezcal, Punt e Mes, Aperol). So when we set out to create a program for A16 Rockridge, we knew we would be including a variation on this classic drink.
We also set challenge upon ourselves. Being an Italian inspired pizzeria, we decided we would like to highlight grappa in an approachable way. Grappa's humble origins and history of dubious quality have led to overcompensation on the part of distillers to package the spirit in precious bottles sending the message that grappa is a delicate and worthy product. Unfortunately it seems that much of the drinking world outside Italy never got to know and love grappa in a comfortable and affordable mid-range. That's where the Il Giusto cocktail comes in handy. In thinking about the story of the Negroni Sbagliato (the wrong Negroni) where legend tells of a bartender at Bar Basso mistakenly substituting prosecco for gin, we got to thinking "Why was gin mixed in the first place?" We know of course because that was how the drink's namesake Count Camillo Negroni ordered it. Certainly gin had been around Italy for quite a while and would have been popular in a cosmopolitan setting such as Florence. Still, it made us think what would be the right Negroni? If you add grappa to espresso, you have Caffè Corretto (proper coffee). So it follows, in Italy, if grappa corrects drinks, then Negroni Giusto (the right Negroni) must be made with grappa. It's just "right".
Il Giusto - crafted by Aidan Hansen & Greg Lindgren
Bertagnolli Grappa, Campari Bitter, and Punt e Mes, with two dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters - Stirred and poured over fresh rocks, garnished with a roasted orange slice.