Courtesy Richard Beltzer, head bartender, Monteverde, Chicago IL
Of course, you’ll find Negronis at Monteverde, a not-completely traditional Italian restaurant from chef (and former Top Chef contestant) Sarah Grueneberg. But this version is different from any you’ve seen before: Instead of the standard Campari, the bitter component is divided between two other Italian ingredients: bitter-orange Aperol—infused with crushed peppermint—and Branca Menta fernet, a typically bitter amaro style. The juicy Aperol calms the sharpness of the fernet, while the peppermint infusion plays up Branca Menta’s natural menthol and baking spice notes.
“Peppermint is one of my favorites. As a kid, my parents always gave me peppermints, so it reminds me of my childhood,” explains head bartender Richard Beltzer, who describes this drink as a “playful way to incorporate nostalgia during the holiday season.”
How to Make a Wonderland Negroni
Lemon peel and mint bouquet, to garnish Stir all ingredients with ice.
Strain into a rocks glass over a big ice cube.
Garnish with lemon peel and the mint bouquet.
How To Make Peppermint-Infused Aperol
*Infuse 1 ½ cups of Aperol with 2–3 crushed peppermint sticks (about ½ cup) for 24 hours.
Strain and transfer to a lidded container.
Keeps for up to one year.
(Beltzer also suggests trying the Aperol in a minty Spritz when the weather turns warmer.)
This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!