What’s Inside the Bourbon Barrel? At Nick and Toni’s, It’s a Negroni

What’s Inside: The barrel aged Negroni, from Nick and Toni’s Cafe on W. 67th Street.

If you missed last week’s NY1 segment (it airs Fridays and Sundays) be sure to take a gander online. We visited Nick and Toni’s Cafe on the Upper East Side to talk to Richard Scoffier, who took over their beverage program about four years ago. Like other bartenders in the borough, Scoffier is keen on locally sourced  spirits, and is now using an old Tuthilltown Hudson Baby Bourbon barrel to age a Negroni cocktail made with Seneca Drums gin from Finger Lakes Distilling, which uses nearly 100% NY State-sourced ingredients.

A 1-1-1 mix of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, the Negroni, you might recall, is our current cover star, since the issue featured a story about the comeback of the classic Italian aperitif in the city. Naturally, any resurgence now arrives with variations on the theme, and one iteration we neglected to mention in the piece was this barrel-aged beauty on W. 67th Street. In the NY1 segment, Scoffier explains how the aging process tames the Negroni’s signature bitter bite, and turns it into a different drink entirely. It’s rounder, mellower, almost caramelized, and Negroni fans should be sure to try them both side by side.

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