Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Stranger in the Alps

Stranger in the Alps cocktail / Tim Nusog

There are nearly as many Negroni variations as there are people making them. Some swap gin for another spirit, like the Mezcal Negroni, while others tweak the Campari or vermouth, as with the White Negroni. For his Stranger in the Alps cocktail, Nashville bartender Matthew Tocco charts his own path, sticking with the holy trinity of gin, Campari and vermouth but includes two unique additions: an Oregon brandy and an Italian alpine liqueur.

Tocco begins by rinsing a glass with Clear Creek Douglas Fir brandy, which adds a hint of verdant flavor and fragrance. The distillery describes its brandy as “a tree in a bottle” and makes it by infusing fresh Douglas fir buds in eau de vie, giving the spirit a kick of green, herbal flavors and aromas. Tocco also calls on Braulio Amaro, which is made from a recipe of more than 20 mountain herbs and botanicals, including gentian, juniper, peppermint, star anise and wormwood. It’s delightfully bitter, with a cooling hit of pine and menthol.

While the classic Negroni uses equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari, Tocco dials up the gin, ensuring that it can stand tall alongside the rich vermouth and one-two punch of bitter liqueurs. A pinch of salt further highlights the flavors and helps to bring all the components together into one harmonious package.


  • Clear Creek Douglas Fir brandy, to rinse

  • 1 1/2 ounces Junipero gin

  • 1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula vermouth

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 1/4 ounce Braulio Amaro

  • 1 pinch salt

  • Garnish: lemon peel


  1. Rinse a rocks glass with the Douglas Fir brandy, discard the excess and set aside.

  2. Add the gin, vermouth, Campari, Braulio and salt to a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into the prepared rocks glass over fresh ice.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.