Fat-washing is a technique used by bartenders to capture elusive aroma compounds that can be difficult to extract. Bartender Jorge Balbontin, global brand ambassador for Gin Mare, uses this handy method of preparation to impart the intoxicating yet fleeting fragrance of black truffles in this über-deluxe version of a Negroni.
To start, black truffle oil is infused in high quality French butter, giving the Spanish gin a smooth mouth feel and vegetal-mushroom and green-cucumber-scented complexity. Gin Mare, which is distilled from Mediterranean botanicals like Italian sweet basil, Turkish rosemary, Greek thyme, Arbequina olives, Seville oranges and more.
Using equal parts Gin Mare and bitters, Balbontin adds further aromatic dimension in the form of fruity, spicy-clove and floral-rose notes. A splash of sweet vermouth like Riserva Carlo Alberto or Punt e Mes balances the overall taste of Balbontin’s black truffle Negroni while providing fruity, citrus links to the Gin Mare.
Black truffle Negroni
Black truffle gin
- 500 ml Gin Mare
- 150 ml black truffle oil
- 50 g French butter (unsalted)
- 2 sprinkles of Maldon salt
- an empty bottle with a lid
- cheesecloth or fabric coffee filter
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add 2 sprinkles of salt and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat once the butter has melted and add the black truffle oil. Stir gently to allow the flavors to infuse.
Pour 500 milliliters of Gin Mare into an empty bottle. Add the truffle-infused butter and cover tightly. Then shake vigorously to infuse. Transfer to the truffle-infused Gin Mare Mare to the freezer and reserve for 24 to 36 hours.
Strain the truffle-infused Gin Mare through a fine mesh cloth filter to remove the solids. Repeat as necessary until all visible fats have been removed. Reserve and set aside.
Tonka bean-infused bitters
- 30 ml Campari
- 20 ml Aperol
- 2 pinches of ground tonka bean
- Aeropress filter (paper)
- cocktail mixing glass
Remove the plunger and black perforated base of your Aeropress. Rinse the paper filter and insert it into the base; re-attach the base to the main Aeropress chamber.
Position the main Aeropress chamber over a cocktail mixing glass. Combine the Campari, Aperol and 2 pinches of ground tonka bean in the Aeropress. Stir gently.
Wet the rubber plunger and insert it into the Aeropress. Holding the main chamber with one hand, use the other to press the plunger downwards. Maintain a steady pressure as you continue pressing firmly down to pressure-infuse the Campari and Aperol with the tonka beans, releasing the liquid extraction into the mixing glass. Reserve and set aside.
Black truffle Negroni
- 50 ml black truffle gin (recipe above)
- 50 ml tonka bean-infused bitters (recipe above)
- 45 ml sweet vermouth
- 1 bar spoon cold brew coffee
- 1 dehydrated orange wheel
Combine the truffle-infused Gin Mare and tonka bean-infused bitters with 45 ml of sweet vermouth and 1 bar spoon of cold brew coffee in a cocktail mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to infuse the flavors.
Pour the truffle-infused Negroni mixture into a tumbler with rocks. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel.