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Slate does a fun little feature where they ask their readers to vote on what their writers should be targeting for stories. Troy Patterson is the website’s TV critic and occasional cocktail columnist and asked the crowd (crowdsourcing!) what cocktail he should explore for his upcoming birthday. The poll, which was voted on by some 3,000 people, included classics like the Gibson and the Old Fashioned. But the eventual winner was the Negroni, a drink that we have spent some significant time explaining here.

Quick crib sheet: The Negroni is a stirred cocktail (except when it’s not) containing equal parts gin (though sometimes not), sweet vermouth (usually so, but sometimes not) and Campari (always). It’s a fun little drink, equally bitter and sweet and always arriving a radiant red with a twist of orange (except when it’s fennel).  

For the story, Patterson sets out to try Negronis at “three or four quality spots” in and around South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which the author smartly points out as a neighborhood with a dense population of “hooch houses” (translation: quality cocktail bars like Maison Premiere, Dram, Donna and The Shanty are located in South Williamsburg). To not go all spoiler on the story, Patterson has a fine time — avoiding a “blown out palate” that his wife cautioned and sipping a Gibson at 3 a.m. because this is how professional drinkers roll.

And speaking of professional drinkers, Camper English (a real name) has something to say about mixologists fucking with the Negroni recipe. He’s a spirits writer and publisher of alcademics.com. “Everywhere you look, the Negroni is being deconstructed, smoked, solidified, gelatinized, flamed, dehydrated, foamed, carbonated, frozen, clarified, and subjected to other forms of mixological torture,” he writes in Details. In the end he’s OK with the reinvention of the classic, noting the recipes are made to be broken, especially the simple one. And there is nothing simpler than a Negroni. Unless, of course, it’s not.

Also see: 7 Creative Negroni Spins