This Brown Butter Washed Negroni is a “fat washed” cocktail. That means you melt fat into the alcohol, then let it cool and solidify, then strain it out. It adds a great texture and mouthfeel to the drink. I love a bitter drink but I understand that it is not for everyone. What I like about the process of washing the drink with butter, is it add some sweetness and fat which cuts the aggressive bitter flavor down a few notches.
How I came up with the idea
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that negronis are my favorite drink. I thought it would be fun to do a brown butter version for a perfect Autumn take on the cocktail! When you add brown butter to anything, it brings such a depth of flavor with sweet caramel and butterscotch notes. At the last minute I added a touch of walnut liquor to add even more nutty goodness.
One of the strengths of a negroni is you can make it early. Not all drinks are great if you make them in batches ahead of time. It especially works when you are aging the drink on brown butter. You can let it sit in the fridge for a bit, then strain it, then you have it ready for a group, or can just slowly have a drink of your own every night for a week!
Aging the brown butter washed negroni
A negroni is typically a 1:1:1 drink, which is one of the reasons I love it so much- it’s easy to make and remember the recipe! equal parts gin, amaro, and sweet vermouth. The amaro is typically Campari, but good bartenders often change it up.
First I made the drink- I used Four Peel Gin from a local distillery, then added Bruto Americano as the bulk of the amaro. I added a little nocino – a walnut liquor, for some sweetness and to bump up the nutty autumn vibes. Finally I finished it off with sweet vermouth, added the browned butter, and then a stick of cinnamon that I lit on fire. I love a recipe that includes setting something on fire!
After it sits for a day or two, strain it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth, then put it back into the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Making the garnish for the Brown Butter Washed Negroni
I had a bartender friend who made beautiful citrus peel art for his drinks and I think about him and honor his memory anytime I do something like this. He was more of a master mixologist and artist, but he preferred to be called a bartender.
Cut off as much of the white part of the orange as you can. Go online and find a simple design you can follow to make your cuts. Maybe start with something more simple before graduating to this leaf.
Serving the Brown Butter Washed Negroni
The last part is easy, just fill some glasses with ice, pour in the drink, and top with the garnish!
The butter not only added a beautiful texture but it also rounded out the hard bitter edge of a classic negroni. I will be making and drinking these all season, cheers!
Twists on this drink
The varieties of a negroni are endless and you could brown butter wash any of them. You could also BACON WASH them if you wanted! This idea works with any fat that you can pour in and then strain out a few days later.
Brown Butter Washed Negroni
- 1/2 stick salted butter
- 1 cup gin
- 3/4 cup Bruto Americano or similar amaro
- 1/4 cup nocino
- 1 cup sweet vermouth
- 1 cinnamon stick
- orange peel
- Add the butter to a frying pan on medium high heat. Cook a few minutes to brown. Remove from heat.
- Add all the alcohol to a bottle or jar.
- Light the cinnamon stick on fire, then blow it out and add it to the bottle. Cover, shake, and put into the fridge for 2 days, shaking occasionally.
- Strain through a coffee filter or cheese cloth.
- Serve with orange peel for garnish