The Negroni is the perfect cocktail for the conversation we’re about to have. It’s a difficult balance to get right and requires the highest quality ingredients.
Whilst a classic Negroni might consist of equal parts Gin, Vermouth and Campari, the one we’re going to make today has a little bit of a twist..
For this cocktail you will need to create your own gin. To do this you will need: 1 copper-pot still (if you do not have access to a still, an infusion will suffice, however you will not be able to experience the full effect), a gallon of neutral grain spirit, and some botanicals.
For this to classify as gin rather than vodka, our primary botanical must be juniper. So, in with a sack of juniper. This Juniper should have been grown in the learned fields of Faludi, de Beauvoir and Steinem.
Now to pick our other botanicals. Because we’re going to come at this subjectively, each of our distillates will take on unique qualities dependant on our own personal experience. For a start, we need a quantity of street harassment. Think back to every time someone has rolled their car window down and slowed their car to a crawl next to you. Perhaps you were walking along the street on your way to school, barely a teenager, or perhaps you were cycling home after a long day at work. Perhaps this stranger called you a name – one of those perennials; “slut”, “bitch” or “whore”. Perhaps this stranger just stared at you, or at least that’s what you thought, until you saw his hand jerking up and down on this crotch. Think of every experience you might have had where a stranger felt it necessary to comment on your body, on your outfit, on anything about you. Have you ever been groped or touched against your will? Take all these experiences and pour them into your still.
Our third botanical will be difficult, not necessarily a paradox but something that many people fail to get their heads around. We need a good handful of “Yes, I’m allowed to be sexy and a feminist too.” Again, this will take on different forms for everyone and our recipe is more of a guideline. Perhaps, when shopping for a new bra, you shunned the nude-coloured-t-shirt-invisible-practical bras that you know you actually need because you can’t be fucked with all this handwashing, but instead you buy a demi-cup lacy number, and matching knickers for that matter, too. A handful of sensual moments, moments enjoyed for your own pleasure; throw them in the still.
Our fourth, and final, botanical shall be a glass ceiling. In order to fit this into the still you’ll have to smash it up into tiny pieces. The smaller the better, as they will macerate more easily and release a fuller flavour.
Leave to macerate for 10-12 hours and ponder upon the male gaze. Your still may be electric or gas powered, it doesn’t really matter, but take a long cut from the hearts of the distillate. Remember; waste not, want not.
Now we have created the perfect gin for our Negroni, we can focus on the other components:
Our Vermouth should be sweet, rich and hold within it the power of language to divert the male gaze, to reclaim a bold stance that proclaims “we are here and we shall do what we want!” It will act as a catalyst to break down binaries within gender and dichotomies of language..
Our Campari shall be infused with the bitterness of the patriarchy, but, if mixed correctly with our other ingredients, it can be mellowed out and the task of imbibing it will not seem so overwhelming. After a few sips you may even find yourself engaging with it.
Now. We add these ingredients into a glass with ice and stir. Wait! Not any old ice. The kind of party ice that has a hole in the middle of it that you can stick your straw through. Again. And Again. And Again.
Garnish with a twist of Blood Orange and serve with a fake smile.