The Forest Negroni is a modern outdoorsy inspired version of the classic negroni cocktail.
About a week and a half ago I had a chance to head down to Menlo Park to visit the campus of Sunset Magazine to get a sneak peak preview of their Sunset Celebration Weekend. A weekend of demos, seminars, music, food and drinks I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend the celebration itself but I wanted to bid farewell to their campus. This will be the last year Sunset Magazine headquarters will be there. Next year they will move to Oakland and to Napa. You can tell that they were gearing up for their biggest celebration weekend ever, with people coming from all over the area to say goodbye to the campus they’ve been at since 1951. There seemed to be equal parts sadness and excitement at the idea of closing a major chapter in Sunset’s life, as well as what potential for what was to come with the new move.
From touring their “Backyard Cottage and Garden” a modernist 400 square foot guesthouse to seeing their wine cellar and visiting their test kitchen built with both electric and gas stoves so that all their recipes can be properly tested on home equipment to their expansive gardens completely with a mini greenhouse full of succulents as well as their exploration of drought friendly gardening, I was impressed and sad I couldn’t come back down during the weekend to celebrate along with everyone else. But since I was heading down to LA to pick up AJ from his ride on the AIDS Lifecycle, it just wasn’t feasible. So I knocked back a sample of their Forest Negroni (recipe at the end of this post) which was demoed as the perfect camping cocktail, knowing that Sunset was giving their all for their last hurrah at the campus. I can’t wait to see what they do at their new campus!
Special thanks to Sunset Magazine for bringing me down to check out their campus right before Sunset Celebration Weekend. Though they did bring me down to tour their campus as well as treat us to lunch and samples, I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
By Irvin Lin
The forest negroni is basically a negroni with a slightly modern twist. Senior travel editor Nino Padova demoed this camping cocktail explaining that he would make them ahead of time in larger batches to serve over ice around a campfire. The classic Campari is replaced with Gran Classico bitters and Lillet and the gin recommended is St. George Terroir which has more botanical notes like Douglas fir and California bay laurel and isn’t as juniper forward as other gins. I can attest that it was pretty fantastic and made me rethink my own barebone camping experience!
Adapted from Sunset Magazine
1 1/2 ounces St. George Terroir Gin
3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1/2 ounce Gran Classico Bitter
1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
Fresh bay leaf for garnish (optional)
1. Add all alcohol to a glass filled with ice, then stir until very cold.
2. Strain cocktail into an old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube in it. Editor Nino Padova suggest purchasing a silicon mold tray to make large ice cubes because the ice stays cold longer and I have to agree with him. Plus it looks really cool.
3. Garnish with the bay leaf. If you’re camping, drink and be happy that you don’t have to drive home.