Welcome to our column where we look at what’s good to drink around Shanghai. And because it’s Friday. And also because pooping onboard angers the bus god. Whatever, we just want some booze. This week: Negroni del Sur.
The Negroni is a cocktail that’s in the midst of a zeitgeist. It’s a drink that checks off all the right boxes: it’s bitter, it’s perfect for aperitivo hour, and it’s three ingredients – equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari – means it’s easy to make both at home and at the bar. It’s also ripe for remixing, like this latest twist by new bar Funka del Sur.
Opened by the same folks behind Funkadeli and The Parrot, Funka del Sur references all things Latin American for their food and drink, and their Negroni takes a similar approach. Working with bartender and spirits evangelist (his actual title) Chris Lowder from alcohol importer Sarment and Proof & Company, they came up with the idea of using pineapple rum instead of gin.
“We wanted to do something that’s South American and Latin style,” Lowder said, “That’s why we used rum. It’s tropical, it has notes of the Caribbean, and a little touch of pineapple bring out South America.”
This isn’t just a pineapple-flavored rum. Distilled by French producer Plantation, they use Victoria pineapple, a small variety of the fruit that’s considered one of the best in the world. First, the bark of the pineapple is infused with white rum and distilled again. Separately, the flesh is infused dark rum. Then both white and dark rums are blended together.
Because rum is sweeter and heavier than gin, the other components of the Negroni are lightened up to balance the drink. Lowder used two vermouths – a sweeter, fresher red vermouth, and a darker, spicier, more bitter style called vermouth chinato. Instead of Campari, he went with another bitter liqueur called Rinomato, which is lighter with notes of rhubarb and strawberry. All those then gets mixed together in a clay pot and finally bottled.
Normal Negronis can be bitter and bracing, but this one is softer and rounder with a subtle yet unmissable undertone of pineapple and other tropical fruit. “It doesn’t have the spicy gin note, but it’s more moreish,” said Lowder. “It’s also a little more boozy, but it’s more fun.” We cannot agree more.
The Negroni del Sur is available by the glass for ¥95 or by the bottle for ¥388. Only 50 bottles are available.
Funka del Sur
163 Yanping Road