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  • Writer's pictureKhalid Williams

The Rosita- A cocktail that Matters

The Rosita has existed in the back of our collective spirit mind for a long time, but Dylan Garret of put that shit back on front street.

I knew that the Rosita was a variation on the Negroni with tequila, but that’s where my exploration stopped. I did myself a great disservice. Thankfully, rescued me with a dope article about this compelling riff

Negroni: Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Campari.

Rosita (Mr Boston Version) Tequila, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, Campari

A boozy tequila cocktail from the Negroni Family Tree with a whole lot of history behind it!

The idea of the modern classic has been a bit abused over the last 20 years. I feel like in 2023, we have all started holding our horses before we deem something as classic or indispensable.

I assert that the Rosita meets and exceeds all requirements of being a “modern classic”

Cocktail History is my favorite because so much of it is debatable. If there aint. No right answer I damn sure cant be wrong! Woot!

Anyway, The Old Mr Boston Cocktail Book (I assert that this book still lies under at least half of the bar registers in the known universe) in the mid 70’s. That was surprising to me because cocktail culture in the 70’s was at its least creative and most fueled by stimulant use.

Now we are in 2023 and….cocktail culture is more creative.

The original recipe called for equal parts tequila and Campari (1 oz) and .5 oz of sweet and dry vermouth. The Rosita is perfect. Perfection is perfected, so ima let ‘em understand.

The coolest thing I learned is that the person who modernized the cocktail had it taught to him by someone else that found out it was he who modernized it.

Gaz Regan, a personal and industry hero, remixed and refined the recipe in 1991 and it ended up in the back pages somewhere of his book The Bartender’s Bible.

He and a fellow writer were just having a cocktail convo and the friend pulled the Rosita out of his memory banks. Neither one could remember where the hell it came from.

The man that literally made the recipe forgot he made the recipe and relearned the recipe that he forgot he made. That’s Bartending.

In Mr. Boston, each volume has different information on the tequila to be used.

Today im rocking with Casa Noble Reposado. This bad boy is organically produced and aged one day short of being an anejo. Every step of production goes beyond the scope of whats needed to make a solid tequila and ventures into legendary mode.

Tequila-giving spice, citrus, earthy notes

Sweet vermouth-giving balance through sugar and dark berry notes

Dry Vermouth-elevates and adds citrus notes and a hint of a floral and herbal lift

Campari-giving that signature pleasantly bitter dance of blood oranges, cinnamon and clove

Angostura bitters-the X factor, playing nicely with the spice and oak of the tequila and counterbalancing the sweetness of the sweet vermouth. I have absolutely no idea what dry vermouth and bitters do together.

The Rosita is a spirit forward tequila cocktail that isn’t just a substitute for a Negroni. The way the recipe evolved over time highlights the thoughtful way Gaz Regan approached his cocktails and this is just one more example of why we as a drinks culture need to keep his legacy alive!

The complete story of a cocktail is never told. It lives and breathes, with we as cocktail lovers keeping its heart beating. Cocktails never die as long as we keep on improving, creating, collaborating and congratulating.

Is "congratulating" a word?

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