Much like yesterday’s Boulevardier, the Agavoni is a Negroni variant that uses a different spirit in place of gin. The Boulevardier calls for, as you recall, bourbon. With the Agavoni (sometimes called the Tegroni), however, the main spirit is switched to Tequila. People who pay attention to this sort of thing say Bastian Heuser, a German wandering mixologist and cocktail writer-at-large, invented the Agavoni only relatively recently.
The original Agavoni recipe calls for tequila blanco. I’m not the most ardent tequila drinker, so I made do with some Espolón Reposado I had on hand. Reposado tequilas are aged in wood casks, so they often have a subtle oak flavor. Blanco tequilas aren’t aged, so they tend to have a sharper taste with more emphasis on the flavor of the agave. But sometimes you have to make do with the tools you have on hand.
- 3/4 oz. Espolón ReposadoTequila
- 3/4 oz. Carpano Antica
- 3/4 oz. Campari
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters
How to Mix an Agavoni
This drink calls for a few dashes of orange bitters. I suspect this modification to the traditional Negroni recipe happened because orange flavors blend well with tequila (consider the triple sec present in most margaritas). I used Regans No. 6 (again, that’s what was on the shelf), but Scrappy’s Orange Bitters works just as well.
The Agavoni is a stirred drink, so to make one for yourself just combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice. This cocktail is garnished, interestingly enough, with a twist of grapefruit.
The Agavoni surprised me. It worked really well with the Reposado tequila, and now I’m curious to try it with tequila blanco.
Tomorrow I’ll conclude my Negroni Week adventures with a very special Negroni concoction.
Cocktail impresario David Wondrich‘s wonderful in-depth analysis of many drinks from the golden age of the cocktail and the mind of “Professor” Jerry Thomas. Includes plenty of drink history and modernized takes on the Professor’s classic combinations, all reworked for modern times. An indispensable guide to learning about mixology.