The Tart, Trendy Juice You Need For Perfectly Balanced Negronis

Classic cocktails never go out of style. Straightforward in their recipes and always sure to deliver an oh-so-delightful result, cocktail purists are totally justified in their rationale. But, many other drink enthusiasts might argue differently, suggesting instead that variety is the spice of life. Riffing on a classic is the happy medium for traditionalists and experimentalists alike. So, in an effort to appease both types of imbibers, we'd like to propose a modest twist on the famous Negroni that involves adding a splash of one wonderfully fruity yet tart juice.

Gin, Campari, and vermouth are the necessary building blocks of a Negroni. Stirred with ice and served with an orange peel, the vivaciously red tipple teems with complexity despite its modest ingredient list. While each liquor imparts a unique element to the drink, such as herbaceousness from gin, bitterness from Campari, and sweetness from vermouth, balancing the nuanced flavors of these ingredients also plays a role in the drink's success.

Although citrus tends to be an overarching flavor component in each spirit (further echoed by the typical orange peel garnish), the Negroni also boasts faint notes of cherry, primarily stemming from Campari. While normally quite subtle, highlighting the red fruit acts as an interesting prospect. Dare we say that it could be the secret to crafting a more harmonized, bittersweet cocktail?

For the ultimate sweet and sour Negroni, add cherry juice

Despite the fact that there is no shortage of Negroni variations, one of our favorite ways to modify the tipple for a more balanced outcome is by building on subtleties. Take, for example, the often glazed-over cherry notes in a Negroni. Drawing inspiration from the Sour Cherry Negroni found at New York's Hawksmoor, it's easy to add a zing of acidity and a layer of sweetness with a splash of cherry juice. Just dissolve some citric acid – available in the canning or baking aisle at the grocery store — with a sweetened juice, and voilà, the mildly punchy concoction is ready to neutralize an out-of-whack Negroni. 

Alternatively, you can forgo the tangy powder and keep things super simple by working with tart (unsweetened) cherry juice instead. Great at deepening the fruitiness of the cocktail, the juice is able to delicately juxtapose any astringency without being too cloying saccharine. Essentially, the sweetly sour juice creates a better cohesion of flavors. Not to mention that the ingredient might even make the bevvy more approachable for even non-Negroni fans.

The bottom line is this, tart cherry juice is definitely worth experimenting with if you're looking to amp up a Negroni while still ensuring a sense of balance. An unexpected way to jazz up a classic — always choose cherries.