Every gentleman reaches a point in life where boxed wine and light beer no longer does it for them. Discovering your favourite cocktail is part of the process of becoming a man, like learning how to tie a tie or shaving; being able to back in a trailer or cook a steak properly, and developing a strong handshake.
But developing a more complex taste in alcohol also comes with a drawback: cocktails are inherently more complex and time-consuming to make than simply pouring yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio or pilsener.
Thankfully, one enterprising American has come up with what might be the easiest (and most entertaining) cocktail solution known to man. Enter the ‘Togroni’: a simple solution that promises a quick Negroni anywhere, anytime – much to the chagrin of fancy mixologists.
All it is are three small bottles wrapped together – Campari, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and Botanist Gin – and all one has to do is “crack, crack, crack and pour”. It’s a visually appealing and elegant way to make the popular Italian cocktail on the go that’s quickly gained traction on social media.
“The only problem to date for Negroni lovers is that it can’t be found on every menu, and by special request, it can often miss the mark. Thus, one hasn’t been able to enjoy a Negroni truly anywhere – until now,” Nick O’Connell, the Togroni’s inventor, shared with Boston.com.
“The inspiration for this came when my brother Mike informed me that Campari is available in 50ml ‘nips’. I immediately searched for the best gin and sweet vermouth available in the same format. Hand rolling the three of them together with tape to dispense rapidly into a glass of ice in under five seconds was the beginning of a movement… the Togroni provides another level of excitement with its triple-barrel pour. The process is almost as enjoyable as the cocktail.”
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The beauty of the Togroni is that it’s something anyone can assemble at home. All you need to do is get some ‘nip’-sized bottles (available in bulk from stores like Dan Murphy’s or Australian Liquor Supplies), tape them together in sets of three, and you’re good to go. You’re not constrained to O’Connell’s favourite spirits, either – you can pair the Campari with whatever gins or vermouths take your fancy.
You could also emulate the concept with other cocktails. Substitute the gin for a little bottle of whiskey and you’ve got a portable Boulevardier (although that’s not quite as punny as the Togroni).
Of course, bartenders might scoff at this quick and dirty Negroni – pouring alone is unlikely to sufficiently and consistently mix the cocktail – but even they’d have to admit that it’s a fun way to get people drinking cocktails when they might otherwise opt for something simpler (and less classy).
Speaking of pun-tastic cocktails, some Australian businesses have also come up with some brilliant ready-to-pour cocktails.
Archie Rose Distilling Co., one of Australia’s most highly-awarded distilleries, have long made a range of premixed craft cocktails, such as the Nougatto: a gin-based cocktail that features notes pandan, amaretto and dark chocolate, all backed up by a hint of rose. The beauty of Archie Rose’s cocktails is that they come in a 700ml bottle, which contains enough for 10 serves: you can pour a whole round of cocktails quicker than you could pour a pitcher of beer or sangria, for example.
Continental Deli Bar Bistro in Sydney have also come up with a clever range of takeaway canned cocktails, such as the Can-Hattan. Similar to the Togroni, they combine premium ingredients with a fun, retro serving experience. These canned cocktails became particularly popular during lockdown periods over the last twelve months: even if you couldn’t drink at the bar, you could still enjoy a Continental ‘quaran-tinny’ at home.
From Togronis to Nougattos, what is clear is that more Americans and Australians are developing an interest in premium spirits and cocktails. DMARGE recently spoke with Alice Newport, a bartender and spirits ambassador for Pernod Ricard, who suggests that the dearth of international travel and nightlife we’ve experienced over the last twelve months with COVID-19 is largely responsible:
“Right now, everybody is drinking better, everybody is drinking less, and people are thirsty for high-quality products… people want nice things, and they want nice experiences. And if you can’t go and have a nice experience somewhere else, I think people want to have that brought to them.”
Cocktails are an easy way to bring an element of class to any proceedings, whether that’s relaxing at home, having fun at a party or enjoying a night out at your favourite bar. It’s no wonder, then, that people are increasingly looking for fun and convenient ways to mix them up for themselves.
Thirsty? If you’re looking for some tips on how to make classic cocktails at home, check out DMARGE’s comprehensive collection of cocktail guides. Soon you’ll be mixing up tasty tipples with the best of them.