Thirsty Thursday of Negroni Week brings the power of Punt e Mes to the table.
What in the world is Punt e Mes? Does it have to with football special teams or rowing in British terms?
Punt e Mes is a common substitute for sweet vermouth in cocktails, both Negroni inspired and not. It’s a hazelnut colored Italian sweet vermouth that has more spice and herbal flair than the very syrupy traditional sweet vermouth, being a particular nice addition to the even more vehemently herbal and spicy Campari.
For your Negroni variation tonight, you can of course simply follow the 1:1:1 ratio of a Negroni with Gin, Campari, and Punt e Mes instead of sweet vermouth.
Or, how about some more Mezcal? Yes, I know this website has lots of Mezcal recommendations, but it’s hard to beat the stellar smoky agave based spirit. Try the “Mezcal Amores,” a mystical love letter Negroni variation, courtesy of Seattle’s Jay Kuehner.Blend 1:1:1 (of course) Reposado Mezcal, infused Campari, and Punt e Mes, with a dash or two of orange bitters for a delightful brightness.
The infused Campari involves a split ancho chile with seeds removed and coarsely chopped, then steeped with a cinnamon stick and an (entire!) bottle of Campari in a sealed wide-mouthed jar for 8-24 hours. Then strain to a bottle.
Stir the four drink ingredients together with rocks, then strain into a coupe and serve up with an orange twist. I like to add a cinnamon coated rim to the coupe for an added spice dimension. You can light the orange twist on fire too for an additional smoky element if you desire.
You don’t have to infuse the Campari, but hey, why not? Give the “Mezcal Amores” its deserving Campari and Punt e Mes love this Negroni Week.