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What: Negroni-San with Ford’s Gin, Tozai Sake, Salers Gentiane Apéritif, and Hakutsuru Plum Wine.
Where: Conosci, 465 K St. NW; (202) 629-4662; conoscidc.com
What You Should Be Drinking: In honor of sister restaurant Alta Strada’s vast selection of Negronis next door, assistant general manager Eric Di Nardo sought a variant with the classic blueprint of equal parts spirit, bitterness, and sweetness but more in line with Conosci’s Asian-leaning cuisine. The trickiest part was replacing the Campari, but Di Nardo settled on Salers Gentiane Apéritif because it’s light and delicate. It’s stirred in a mixing glass on the bar cart with Ford’s Gin, Tozai Sake, and Hakutsuru Plum Wine.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: Taking artistic license that makes this drink virtually unrecognizable as a Negroni, this colorless version lacks the original’s classic ruby hue and bittersweet taste. Instead, it reveals an appealingly distinctive profile that works before, during, or after dinner. The gin’s juniper and the plum wine’s dark fruit notes meld with Salers’ dry woodiness, while sake lends a lift not found in versions with gin alone. Sip the libation with ultra-fresh American red snapper ceviche with leche de tigre and earthy Okinawa sweet potatoes.