The Eeyore's Requiem Cocktail Is A Bitter Twist On The Negroni

Literary lovers and cocktail connoisseurs, lend us your ears (and your palates). Libation librarians, we're looking at you! For foodies as thirsty for a good book as they are for a solid cocktail, there's a killer lineup of book-based beverages that you've probably never heard of. There's the Catcher in the Rye, a rye whiskey-based cocktail with orange marmalade and Angostura bitters. The "To Kill A Mockingbird"-inspired Boo Radley cocktail is a reimagined take on the Boulevardier, per Food 52. San Francisco-based mixologist Morgan Schick even created a Moloko Plus cocktail based on the drink Alex and his Droogs guzzled in Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange," via Punch.

Today, we're talking about another literary drink: an Eeyore-inspired cocktail modeled after the lovable-yet-bitter donkey who holds down the Hundred Acre Wood. No, we're not talking about a Dark & Stormy, as fitting as the name might be. If you're looking for a Negroni variation (other than the Negroni Sbagliato), Eeyore's Requiem is at the ready when the blues make you say "Oh, bother!"

A little bitter, a little strong, and hugely enjoyable

Eeyore's Requiem is a reimagined Negroni, made with a bitter twist in honor of its titular character. Like a standard Negroni, the basic building blocks are gin and vermouth, per Serious Eats. But, Eeyore's Requiem features a few extra bitter ingredients to take it up a notch: orange bitters, Campari, Fernet-Branca, and Cynar. In case you haven't worked with it before, Campari is an Italian aperitif with a signature bright red color. It has a slight clove flavor, but is mostly orange-forward — think Aperol but bitter. Fernet-Branca is a liqueur made from a blend of 27 spices and roots, including rhubarb, chamomile, linden, saffron, iris, myrrh, and others. It's super bitter and super herbaceous. 

Still, the most unique ingredient in Eeyore's Requiem is Cynar, made by the same folks who make Campari. Cynar (CHEE-nar) is an amaro liqueur made from artichokes. Sound a little weird? As Eeyore puts it, "Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be." Don't knock it till you try it. The heavily bitter lineup of ingredients combines to make an elevated Negroni for the books. Pun intended.

Eeyore may be a physically tiny character, but the cocktail inspired by his namesake is 1.7 standard drinks, according to Difford's Guide. Eeyore's Requiem is 22.03% ABV. That's 44.06 proof. So, how did this small-but-mighty drink come to be?

Maloney creates originals with classic flair

Eeyore's Requiem was invented by mixologist Tobey Maloney of The Violet Hour in Chicago's Wicker Park, who calls Eeyore "the most bitter character in literature," per Punch. Other inventive cocktails on The Violet Hour's menu include the "Famous on Paper," which features mezcal, Amaro Nonino, and yellow chartreuse. There's even a Culture Club-inspired "Karma Chameleon" and the witty "Friendly Neighborhood Ciderman." Maloney first created Eeyore's Requiem around 2009, says Difford's Guide, then immortalized it in his 2022 book "The Bartender's Manifesto."

Maloney co-opened The Violet Hour in 2007 with business partner Jason Cott, reports the Chicago Reader. Cott describes Maloney's creative process as a sort of revelatory, animated fantasia: "His eyes sort of glaze over and he starts grabbing bottles and scooping ice ... He's grabbing at things and smelling, dismissing. He's almost throwing $50 bottles of booze over his shoulder." Eeyore himself might clock it as "A trifling matter, and fussy of me, but we all have our little ways." 

But, for as inventive as his creations are, Maloney says he aims to celebrate basic cocktails at the heart of his menu: "That's what we try and do. We take classic recipes and make small subtle tweaks." Indeed, considering A. A. Milne first debuted the Hundred Acre Wood cast in 1926, Eeyore is about as "classic" a character as it gets. And, as a classic, Eeyore might have a few iconic words of Maloney's immortalization of him in drink form: "Thanks for noticin' me."