As the head bar chef at SoBou in New Orleans, Abigail Gullo knows how to throw a party. Sometimes that means holding court behind the bar, while other times she’s entertaining friends in her own backyard. Both occasions require good cocktails, so Gullo often breaks out her vintage soda siphon and pre-batches the Dizzy Blonde Negroni, a make-ahead drink that can’t fail.
It features equal parts gin, Aperol and dry vermouth, plus Cointreau and a dose of water to smooth out the edges and provide a little dilution. Each ingredient is added directly into the siphon, an old-school approach that guarantees the contents are well-carbonated and delicious, from the spout straight into the glass. (Pro tip: Keep all the ingredients cold to ensure proper fizz.)
This Negroni variation is less bitter than the original. The Aperol aperitivo and Cointreau orange liqueur create a lighter, orange-accented flavor profile, while the substitution of dry vermouth for sweet vermouth tamps down the richness in favor of dry, floral notes.
Gullo’s soda siphon trick can work for a variety of drinks, but whenever you’re making a large-format cocktail, she says to be wary of overdoing the sugar. Start by adding all of the liquor first, followed by the bitter, sweet or sour ingredients. Then begin with half of the sugar that you’d normally use, slowly adjusting the flavors, and make sure to taste as you go.
- 7 ounces gin
- 7 ounces Aperol
- 7 ounces dry vermouth
- 3 1/2 ounces Cointreau
- 3 1/2 ounces water
- Garnish: grapefruit twist
- Garnish: star anise pod
- Garnish: cinnamon stick
Add the gin, Aperol, dry vermouth, Cointreau and water into an ice-cold one-quart soda siphon.
Charge the siphon with a CO2 charger, shake it, then dispense the contents into rocks glasses or punch cups over cracked ice.
Garnish each drink with a grapefruit twist, a star anise pod and a cinnamon stick.