How to Make a Sous Vide Negroni
A speciality of the cocktail bar at Chapter in Helsinki, the Sous Vide Negroni puts a new-fangled twist on a classic drink
We live in the golden age of negroni. This iconic cocktail has managed to go mainstream without losing its street credibility as one of the tastiest drinks out there. For negroni lovers, this signifies that you will find at least a half-decent negroni wherever you go. The sudden surge of interest also means that there are people who are taking their love for negroni to the next level. Like one Finnish restaurant that’s serving up a sous vide negroni.
Helsinki restaurant Chapter opened in October 2017, and it’s already made a reputation for itself with its cocktail bar. In December, they won Best New Cocktail Bar in Finland at the Bartender’s Choice Awards in Stockholm.
One of the most hyped cocktails on the Chapter menu is their sous vide nefroni.
“Sous vide negroni has been on the scene for a few years now,” says Sanna Tuomola, a bartender at Chapter. “Our negroni is inspired by other legends in the industry. I visited the Duck and Waffle bar in London a few months ago and tasted their Olive Americano. I loved it.”
The Olive Negroni is gently cooked, or “matured,” in sous vide at 122°F for 24 hours with a handful of olives in the mix to provide the drink an extra layer of flavor.
“We did some experiments with different temperatures and times, and what we noticed was that the olives need some extra time to give away some of that flavor,” says Tuomas Lindgren, the bartender on duty at Chapter. “The flavor and slight saltiness of the olives combines really well with the sweetness of the negroni.”
Although Chapter’s exact recipe is a bit of secret, if you play around with the classic components of negroni, you could probably recreate the sous vide cocktail at home. Just use three equal parts of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth. At Chapter, they usually make the sous vide negroni in big batches using one liter of each booze; at home you probably want to scale that down a bit. Throw in a handful of good-quality green olives, sliced up. Seal the sous vide bag carefully, add it inside the cooking vessel, and voilà. Twenty hours later remove the pouch, filter the negroni into a bottle, and chill it. Remember to pour the drink into an appropriate glass, express some of those fragrant oils from an orange peel on top of the drink, and don’t forget the ice.