Cocktail of the week: tropical vegroni
From the Island Social Club comes this pineapple-scented, campari and vermouth concoction made with vodka instead of gin – a perfect fireside aperitif.
Stirred drinks, with their bright, clear colours, make great winter cocktails. The pineapple in this one lends it a welcome touch of the warm tropics, although the drink itself was a total accident. While testing a negroni recipe, I picked up a bottle of vodka by mistake and ended up with this. You’ll need to steep the fruit in Campari at least three days ahead.
For the pineapple Campari
1 small wedge fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes (75-100g)
150-200ml Campari (depending on the size of your jar)
For the drink
25ml good vodka
25ml sweet vermouth
25ml pineapple Campari (see above)
1 twist grapefruit peel (or orange or lemon peel – something citrussy and sour, rather than sweet adds another layer to the drink)
First make the pineapple Campari. Put the pineapple in a small sterilised jar, top up with Campari to submerge, then seal. Keep in the fridge for three days, shaking the jar once a day, then strain into a second sterilised jar and store in the fridge; it will keep for up to three months.
For the drink, pour all the liquids into a mixing glass, add ice and stir to chill. Strain over ice into a rocks glass, garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel and serve.
• Joseph Pilgrim, Island Social Club, London E8