First of all, I want to say that full credit for the Alpenbitter Negroni goes to my friend Richard McKinley, who suggested swapping out the Campari in a traditional Negroni for Appenzeller Alpenbitter. It is a delicious success.
But sorry American friends, you won't find Appenzeller in your liquor stores—according to the Kulinarisches Erbe, it can't be imported into the United States because some of the forty-two herbs are on their list of forbidden ingredients.
But what doesn't kill you might potentially settle your stomach. Its curative properties are extolled on its website and like other herbal digestifs (Fernet-Branca, Cynar, Jägermeister) it's a good choice for after a big meal.
Its founder was Emil Ebneter who experimented with different local herbs, interested in their medicinal properties. Eventually he opened a shop, patented the name, joined forces with his brother-in-law Beat Kölbener, relocated to a bigger distillery location (the same as now), asked his local monks the lend their herbal know-how, and ended up winning the gold medal for his bitter at the Swiss Expo in 1914. The company remains a family affair, and today it's just one member of each family (Ebneter and Kölbener) who knows the secret recipe.
Don't miss the beautiful design on the label which shows the famous Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, surely one of the most beautifully situated restaurants in the world.
2 parts gin
2 parts sweet vermouth
2 parts Appenzeller
Pour over ice and stir.