February 23, 2019

Stella's Perfect Negroni

Bottoms Up
By Janice Binkert | May 19, 2018

It’s not vanity that prompted the owners of Trattoria Stella and The Franklin in Traverse City to include the word “perfect” in naming its proprietary negroni cocktail, explained Stella bartender Andy Betka, but rather, the perfect classic balance of strong, bitter, and sweet components in equal parts. In this case, that means two parts Two James gin (made in Detroit), two parts Contratto vermouth, and two parts amari (Campari & Zucca), served on the rocks and garnished with elaborate, intertwined twists of lemon and orange which, Betka noted, add additional sensory elements to what is already a complex cocktail. The original negroni is attributed to Count Camillo Negroni, who in 1919 was inspired to replace soda with gin in a non-alcoholic drink from his favorite watering hole in Florence, Italy. That original and three variations on it from the 1920s through the 1980s are also on the extensive cocktail list (16 pages!) at Stella. “We even have a ‘create your own negroni’ section, and with the veritable library of ingredients at our disposal — for any cocktail — we can help you choose your strong and your bitter element, depending on which vermouth you want,” said Betka. “It’s the best cocktail in the world, as far as I’m concerned,” said Stella/Franklin co-owner and sommelier Amanda Danielson, “because it can be almost anything you want.” There couldn’t be a more “perfect” time to treat yourself to a negroni, since National Negroni Week — yes, it’s a real thing — is June 4–10! $13.50 at Trattoria Stella, 1200 W. Eleventh St. (For GPS directions, use 830 Cottageview Dr.) Phone (231) 929-8989. Also available at The Franklin (where it is on tap), 160 E. Front St. (231) 943-2727. offthemaphospitality.com 



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