For this mezcal negroni, a Mexican-inspired riff on the classic cocktail made with gin, sweet vermouth, and campari, gin is replaced with mezcal and Damiana liqueur.
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Serves 26
In a large container, combine the mezcal, Campari, sweet vermouth, water, and Damiana and stir to mix thoroughly.
Using a funnel, divvy the mixture into glass bottles, cork or cover them, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Pour the mezcal negroni into a highball glass filled with ice and a strip of orange zest, if desired.
Recipe Testers' Tips
This was a real surprise—love a Negroni. Normally we have tailored recipes to a slightly less sweet ratio. This version not only takes the ratios to basically equal proportions, but adds two wild card elements: Mezcal and Damiana.
Before preparing a full batch, try a single serving so you can adjust to your personal taste, and then you can scale anywhere from single drinks to a liters. Pre-mixing a Negroni or Manhattan kit is a simple trick we have used to make getaways feel extra well catered.
The Damiana is worth seeking out, though in a pinch, Licor 43 is a widely available and respectable substitute for this smoky Negroni. (It’s also worth the effort to check prices—there was a $14 difference between two major liquor outlets in a major metropolitan area. And it may take effort to find.) I think it will definitely find its way into a top-drawer margarita very soon.
Each version was made with the modestly priced and pleasantly smoky mezcal, La Cava De Los Morales; my favourite Spanish vermut, Casa Mariol Vermut Negre; and Campari. We sampled with Licor 43 + a dash of Orange Angostura (a reasonable substitute for the Damiana), and then the Damiana.
With a teaspoon of Licor 43 and a dash of Angostura Orange bitters, and then an ounce each of the mezcal, Campari, vermut, and ice water. Quite quaffable, and it was well balanced, which kind of surprised me, it wasn’t too sweet at all! The smokiness is definitely there, but played well with the other flavours.
Used Damiana. Again made this according to the recipe in single servings. There was definitely a much more complex interesting new element (in fact, no one would fault you for adding a teensy bit extra Damiana as a float, and I liked it better with a fresh swath of orange zest). Scaling up to a 1-liter batch (⅓ of the recipe) made sense and I wanted a thorough chilling as well as serving over ice. If you can plan ahead, that is worth doing, otherwise, be more generous with ice, and pour 3 to 4 ounces per glass.
Although this is a big batch, it scales easily and can be adjusted to match personal preferences.
Takes about 5 minutes to mix, whether you are making one drink or a full vat.