Having just finished a luxurious dinner, I find myself not in the mood to vent my spleen in regard to the present state of the James Bond franchise. In addition to a couple of glasses of Chardonnay, I has a Negroni for the first time and a twenty year old Tawny Port from Graham’s. The food at this Italian restaurant was superb, but my memory of these drinks holds first place.
As my little Mr. Bartender app informs me, the Negroni consists of 1 part Gin, 1 part Sweet Vermouth, and 1 part Campari garnished with an orange peel. This drink works wonderfully well as an aperitif, as one might guess from the presence of gin and Campari. The gin makes this a rather spicy drink, while the other two elements nicely balance out the spiciness with their sweetness and the orange peel adds some interesting complexity.
Since a very generous individual was buying the dinner, I indulged in the tawny port for dessert. For those of you who have not had port before, the variety of flavors contained in this wonderful drink may astonish you: I discerned flavors of candied apple, prune, honey, figs, and maple syrup–perfect for a dessert wine. It’s age also made this drink very smooth, but the complexity of the flavors made one linger on each sip.