Friday, April 25, 2008

Drink of the Week: Negroni

The Negroni is one of many drinks in the pantheon of "Classic but Sorta Forgotten Cocktails." (It's so forgotten that I actually had to talk a bartender through the process of making one recently. He did a fine job making it, but then killed any chance for a large tip by asking "Why would you want to drink something that tastes so horrible?")

... anyhoo ...

It's a simple drink and rather refreshing as the weather starts to get warmer. Tonight I had mine up, but it's completely acceptable to serve this drink on the rocks. You can also make it a "longer" drink by putting it into a tall glass and topping it off with soda. That variation is called an Americano.

In an iced mixing glass, combine equal portions* of:
  • Gin (Beefeater is a good choice here)
  • Campari
  • Sweet vermouth
Stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist**. (If you are making an Americano, use an orange slice instead.)

* Some like a drink that is ginnier (the Campari can be very strong). In that case, I suggest a ratio of 2 or 3 parts gin to 1 part of each of the other ingredients. I suggest Campari newbies try a 3 to 1 to 1 ratio, just to get their feet wet, as it were.

** The drink in the picture above is garnished with candied kumquats. As you know, I am a fancypants kinda gal and had said garnish in the fridge. Any other time, I'd be using an orange twist like a normal person.


Anonymous said...

Nice post! I love a good Negroni. I prefer mine with Miller's Westbourne Strength Gin. As you mention, it holds up well with the Campari.
Why don't more bars serve these?

Sunday Cook said...


One of my local bars has Miller's, I'll have to ask them to make me one. Our "house" gin is Plymouth and it blends well in cocktails.

I think the dearth of Negronis (Negronii, Negrona?) at cocktail bars has a lot to do with the love of sweeter vodka-based drinks. A lot of people sti11 have a fear of gin (unless "and tonic" follows it) and I do think Campari, despite the heavy ad campaign running right now, is still an acquired taste.

The nice thing is that it's an easy recipe, so you can always teach the bartender how to make it.

Julia said...

Not a problem. I always have mine made with vodka.

FYI, they're starting to appear on the specialty menus in the more expensive class of midtown bars.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great. I know I had seen a recipe for a Negroni once before, but you're right, it is one of those drinks that's faded off into the mists of time...

Cath said...

Oh, I love the negroni, too. I'm a huge Campari fan, so the bitterness is not a problem for me. I find Italian rosso vermouth is even better than the sweet white.

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