At Proxi in Chicago, head bartender Josh Relkin infuses gin with toasted coconut flakes for his Negroni riff, which also features a coffee ice cube that slowly melts bittersweet depth into the mix. “There’s only so much bitterness your palate will actually understand,” Relkin says. “[This drink] is playing with that bitterness to the point that it almost starts to taste sweet.”
1 ¼ oz. toasted coconut-infused gin
1 oz. Campari
¾ oz. sweet vermouth (Relkin uses Carpano Antica)
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon
Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with coffee ice cube. Express the oils from an orange peel and discard.
Toasted Coconut-Infused Gin: Toast 40 grams coconut flakes in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Infuse one 750 mL bottle of gin (Relkin uses Ford’s) with the toasted coconut plus 15 grams of un-toasted coconut flakes. Allow to infuse for at least 48 hours. Strain liquid through chinois, let chill in a freezer for 15 minutes and then use a coffee filter to fine strain liquid before use.
Coffee Ice Cube: Brew coffee per your usual method, then allow it to chill in the refrigerator until cold. Pour into 1 ½-inch large ice cube mold and freeze overnight until completely frozen.
Josh Relkin, Proxi, Chicago
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