With a name like 12 Bottle Bar, you’d think people would understand what it is we do around here. The concept’s not that difficult to grasp — 12 bottles and some mixers. Indeed, you would think. Still, on a daily basis, we get pitched all manner of vile concoctions (“Vodka made from celebrity’s doggie chew toys!” — no, not really), and the process of a polite decline has slowly turned to active ignoring. We don’t want your pie-flavored anything (except for pie-flavored pie, because that would be ridiculous to refuse). Got it?
Having vented that, there are products with which we really want to play around. Being the kind of parents with their priorities somewhat out of whack, we’ve let our son taste absinthe but Coke and Pepsi are off the menu (there’s no HFCS in wormwood, if you’re curious). But much as the heart wants what it wants, a young boy wants sugary drinks. Seeking out a reasonable alternative, we found Izze drinks, which boast nothing more than fruit juice and sparkling water. Junior loves ’em for what they have got, and mom loves ’em for what they have not. And that’s the short story of how Izze because the Solmonson household’s go-to pop.
It was a few months back that a kind representative from Izze reached out to us, asking if we might feature a couple of recipes from Alie Ward & Georgia Hardstark, hosts of the Cooking Channel’s Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia and Izze ambassadors. We said no, as we do. The recipes actually sounded quite nice, it was just that both featured bottles outside of our 12. To clarify, we didn’t say no exactly, we said “No, but how about we send you some recipes?” I’m sure the grammar was cleaner, but that was the gist of it. With Izze already being a product we kept in the fridge, the challenge was an obvious and fun one. Not long after receiving an assortment of Izze flavors to try (most of which were drunk well before any recipes were conceived), we snuck some of the Blackberry variety into our Swamp Cooler. Today, however, we give Izze its own proper post and craft a version of a drink which is an obvious (and reasonable) omission from the 12BB canon: the Negroni.
Now, there’s a reason you won’t find the Negroni on this site, and that reason is Campari or any similar bitter liqueur — it’s something that’s simply not in the 12 bottle pantry. As luck would have it, however, we’re big fans of the Negroni, and in the five years that this site has been around, we keep meaning to do some 12BB-friendly version of the Negroni. Well, today’s the day.[ultimate-recipe id=”8334″ template=”default”]
With Thanksgiving upon us, we’ve been thinking a lot about the flavors that complement the big meal so well. Cranberry, orange, and pomegranate come readily to mind. Gazing into our Izze sample pack, a nice bottle of Sparkling Pomegranate raised its hand. Nice, but it wasn’t bitter enough in itself to bring the right profile to the drink. A dash of orange bitters provided the needed assist. At a standard 1:1:1 ratio, the drink was too gin heavy, so we scaled it back slightly to reach the proportions you see here and added a bit of orange liqueur to mimic the Campari. Traditionally, we prefer our Negronis “up” (stirred, strained, no ice), but the ice helps the drink keep a nice fizz.
Before you dive into that bowl of candied yams, why not take a moment to sip a little aperitif — something to get your stomach acids churning before the melee? The Izze Neargroni is nice prelude to Turkey Day, and another example of how you can have that favorite drink while still keeping your inventory under control.