Becher Negroni

As Tales of the Cocktail is just around the corner, and I’m teaching a seminar entitled Introduction to Molecular Mixology (MM), I figured it’s about time that I give you another MM influenced cocktail.

While I’m sure Eben Klemm and Eben Freeman will go off into the more bizarre and extreme tangents of Molecular Mixology (much to the delight of the attendees) I usually prefer techniques that are easy to replicate with minimal equipment and still produce final products that resemble liquid cocktails.

A recent example of my style can be seen in a cocktail that I’d created for a Slovak bar magazine using a local ingredient: Becherovka.

Becherovka, a 200 year old elixir created by Bohemian pharmacist Josef Becher, is a bitter liqueur that tastes not unlike many a treat that could be found in my grandmother’s candy dish. Sweet, medicinal and complex, Becherovka is traditionally served cold as a digestive aid, but is also versatile as a cocktail ingredient. In the Becher Negroni, I’ve used it as an ingredient in the cocktail, as well as its garnish.

Becher Negroni

1 ½ oz gin
¾ oz Cinzanno Rosso
½ oz Becherovka
dash orange bitters
stir all ingredients with ice
strain into a chilled Becherovka-dust rimmed cocktail glass

Becherovka Dust

pour 8 oz Becherovka into a shallow tray
place into food dehydrator and dehydrate
grind solid Becherovka with mortar and pestle
(if you don’t have a dehydrator, leave Becherovka near a warm place for about a week or until it is no longer wet and has formed a crust-like texture)

The dust adds a different texture to this modern adaptation of that classic of classics, the Negroni, introducing the imbiber to the idea of Becherovka even before the liquid hits the palate. When making this dust, some of the bitterness of Becherovka faded, with the delighted consumer being treated to the sweeter aspects of Becherovka before its characteristic bitterness comes along in the finish, reminding the bon vivant what a complex spirit this truly is.

Picture by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer &
Mixologist At Large


~ by Jamie Boudreau on July 5, 2008.

5 Responses to “Becher Negroni”

  1. Nice. Had a similar Negroni but with Campari dust at Montgomery Place in London a couple of months ago. It was really well done with a single block of ice and a dust of Campari sprinkled over it. Never tried Becherovka but will defenetly give it a try.

  2. I had a nasty experience with Becherovka during a semester in Prague. Like most college drinking disasters, I’ve let it taint my opinion on the drink. Maybe it’s time to give it another try.


  3. Does it follow that any liqueur could be desiccated? I always notice the sugar rims around my bottles of Cointreau, Campari, and Benedictine, which is an unintended result of drips. Can this happen with base spirits as well, or is it linked to the sugar and other dissolved solids?

  4. Jason:
    Some liqueurs work better than others, for instance Chartreuse and Campari almost begs you to give it a go, while others, like Becher’s Cordial, although high in sugar just didn’t want to crumble properly. Usually high sugar content means that you’ll be able to use this technique.

  5. here’s a Negroni i had in Chicago recently:

    1 part gin
    1/2 part aperol
    1/2 part Hum

    shake over cracked ice, strain and serve with an orange twist

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