Portland cocktail aficionados! Get yourself over to Nostrana before the end of the year. Nostrana has a December special Negroni Evergreen you need to experience.
Yes, it’s a difficult time of year. Holidays and all, lots of things to do, yucky rainy weather, even floods. But you do not want to miss the Negroni Evergreen.
Nostrana has a long-standing tradition of featuring a special negroni cocktail each month. In the nature of things, those specials have ranged from okay to good to great. The Negroni Evergreen is fantastic.
Created by Bernard Sun, consultant at Soleil Restaurant and Wine Consulting Company of New York City and currently Kobrand Corporation’s French Wine Brand Portfolio expert, with experience at Jean-George Vongerichten and Montrachet restaurants, the Evergreen is a sumptuous holiday feast in a glass. And if you’re one of those people who don’t care for gin…you’re in luck with the Evergreen; it is gin-less.
Sun’s Negroni Evergreen is a magnificent tour-de-force of a drink, a stunning concoction of Scarlet Ibis Rum, Campari, Cocchi Barolo Chinato, Fonseca Bin 27 port, Berg & Hauck’s Old Time bitters and Miracle Mile Chocolate Chili bitters, served over a single large rock of ice.
I will freely admit I was leery of this drink. It seemed like overkill, with a bewildering array of aggressive ingredients. Usually that type of mad-chemist creation is a mish-mash of conflicting flavors. The Nostrana bartender, Samantha, proved me wrong. She insisted I try the cocktail; since she’s been right before and seems to know my tastes, I acquiesced. Boy, am I glad I took her advice!
The Negroni Evergreen is a big, bold, audacious and absolutely delightful burst of holiday flavor.
Amazing, but all those strong, declarative ingredients work smoothly together, never clashing with each other, and delivering bottomless complexities of enticing aromas and flavors with a definite fruit-caky, holiday-baking-spices festive array of deliciousness—all with that bracing edgy bitterness that a good negroni should always have.
There are about two weeks or so left before the month is out, so make a reservation now, or drop in and try to find a place at the Rooster Bar (my favorite spot). There’s no better time to re-new your acquaintance at Nostrana than now, because their Annual Olivo Nuovo celebration is in full swing, and some of the recent kitchen offerings were remarkable—for instance, the poached egg on creamy potatoes in olive oil and fried capers was gorgeous, and the featured scallops spaghettini with Calabrian chiles was a tour de force of its genre, with the chiles slowly building warmth and spicy tang against the sea-sweet scallops. It’s the kind of dish you need bread with, so you can assiduously mop up the remaining oily-pepper spice sauce to savor the last few traces of flavor.
Go to Nostrana. Order the Negroni Evergreen. You can thank me later.