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Collection: Negroni

The Negroni, a classic Italian cocktail, has been delighting taste buds for over a century. Originating in Florence, Italy, in the early 1900s, this iconic beverage has enjoyed consistent popularity and is considered a staple in many cocktail menus. With its unique blend of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, the Negroni offers a sophisticated balance of bitter and sweet flavours.

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The story behind the Negroni involves a certain Count Camillo Negroni, who sought a stronger version of the Americano cocktail. By substituting gin for soda water, the new concoction took on a bolder character, befitting the style of the count himself. The libation soon garnered a reputation and spread across Italy and the rest of the world, ultimately becoming a fixture in the world of mixology.

HISTORY OF THE NEGRONI

In the vibrant city of Florence, Italy, the renowned cocktail known as the Negroni was born. It all began in the early 20th century, when a man named Count Camillo Negroni decided to experiment with a popular drink at the time, the Americano.

Count Camillo Negroni frequented a bar called Caffè Casoni in Florence, where he sought new ways to enrich the flavour of his favourite beverage. The Americano, a concoction of sweet vermouth, Campari, and soda water, was a trendy choice amongst locals and tourists. However, the Count desired a stronger and more distinctive experience for his taste buds.

One fateful day, Count Negroni asked the bartender at Caffè Casoni to replace the soda water in his Americano with gin. This daring combination of ingredients resulted in a bold and flavoursome cocktail that would soon take the world by storm.

Traditionally, a Classic Negroni comprises the following components:

  • - 1 part gin
  • - 1 part sweet vermouth
  • - 1 part Campari
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Served over ice in an Old Fashioned glass, the Negroni is often garnished with an orange peel to enhance its refreshing and bittersweet character.

The Negroni's ascent to prominence as a beloved cocktail is rooted in its distinct flavour and the tale of its origin. From its humble beginnings at Caffè Casoni to cocktail bars and menus across the globe, the history of the Negroni remains a testament to the spirit of experimentation and the art of mixology.

THE CLASSIC NEGRONI RECIPE

The Classic Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail with a balanced flavour profile, consisting of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. This easy-to-make drink is typically garnished with a twist of orange zest for a bright, citrusy touch. Follow this simple recipe to create the perfect Classic Negroni at home.

Ingredients

To make a Classic Negroni, you'll need the following:

  • - 1 part Gin (30ml)
  • - 1 part Sweet Vermouth (30ml)
  • - 1 part Campari (30ml)
  • - Orange Zest (garnish)
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Equipment

  • - Mixing Glass
  • - Bar Spoon
  • - Strainer
  • - Old Fashioned Glass
  •  

Instructions

Here's a step-by-step guide for making a Classic Negroni:

  1. 1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. 2. Pour in the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.
  3. 3. Using a bar spoon, stir the ingredients well for around 20 seconds to ensure proper dilution and chilling.
  4. 4. Strain the stirred mixture into a glass filled with fresh ice, preferably an old fashioned glass.
  5. 5. Express the orange zest over the drink, releasing the citrus oils, and then drop it into the glass as garnish.
  6.  
  7. Keep in mind that this cocktail follows a 1:1:1 ratio for the three main components, resulting in a harmonious, satisfying drink. The Classic Negroni is an excellent option for both those new to mixology and experienced cocktail enthusiasts alike due to its simplicity and elegant taste.

NEGRONI VARIATIONS

The classic Negroni is a popular Italian aperitif, with a harmonious balance of flavours. There are several interesting and delightful variations to consider when broadening your appreciation of this timeless cocktail. In this section, we will briefly discuss some notable permutations, incorporating different ingredients and spirits.

Sbagliato is a refreshing twist on the traditional Negroni, substituting Prosecco for gin. It originated when a bartender mistakenly added Prosecco instead of gin, creating a lighter, more sparkling version. Meanwhile, a Boulevardier is essentially a Negroni with whiskey. The substitution of Bourbon or Rye whiskey adds a warm, robust depth to the cocktail, making it an elegant winter alternative.

Aperitifs with a lower alcohol content, such as Aperol, can be used in place of Campari. This substitution results in a sweeter and more approachable version of the classic, aptly dubbed the Aperol Negroni. Another variation that adjusts the sweetness balance is the Punt E Mes Negroni, which utilises the richer and more complex Punt E Mes vermouth.

Experimentation with base spirits has birthed a plethora of distinctive Negroni variants. For instance, a Sherry Negroni replaces gin with dry Sherry, lending a nutty, oxidised taste that elegantly complements the traditional bitter and sweet flavours. Alternatively, the Tequila Negroni incorporates a substitution of either Blanco or Reposado Tequila, providing an intriguing agave-based spin on this beloved aperitif.

The White Negroni deviates further from the classic composition, with a blend of Lillet Blanc, Suze, and gin. This combination offers a lighter, more delicate flavour profile with heightened notes of citrus and floral components.

These variations showcase the versatility and adaptability of the Negroni formula, each offering a distinct experience for the discerning cocktail enthusiast. By exploring the assortment of ingredients and combinations presented here, you can develop a deeper appreciation for and broaden your repertoire of this iconic libation.

SERVING AND ENJOYING A NEGRONI

A well-crafted Negroni is a drink that exudes confidence, complexity, and an exquisite balance of flavours. It is traditionally consumed as a pre-dinner drink, exciting the palate for what's to come. To ensure a delightful experience, one must serve and enjoy the Negroni with finesse.

  1. Preparation: Start by chilling a rocks glass by filling it with ice cubes and setting it aside. While the glass chills, gather the ingredients for the cocktail: gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Remember, maintaining the right balance of these components is vital in creating the perfect Negroni.
  2.  
  3. Building the drink: In a separate mixing glass, combine equal parts of each ingredient—typically 1 ounce or 30ml—ensuring a balanced flavour profile. Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes and vigorously stir the mixture for about 20 seconds to achieve the desired dilution and integration of the different spirits.
  4.  
  5. Serving: Once the drink is well-mixed and chilled, discard the ice from the rocks glass and replace it with fresh ice cubes. Strain the cocktail over the ice. An elegantly served Negroni can elevate the overall experience.

For an undeniable finishing touch, garnish is key. A Negroni can be adorned with either an orange slice or a lemon twist, each imparting a subtle yet distinct impact on the drink's aroma and taste. The orange slice enhances the bitter, citrus notes while a zestier lemon twist can cut through richness and add a burst of freshness.

When it comes to enjoying a Negroni, take time to genuinely appreciate the array of flavours it offers. The bitterness from the Campari, the boldness of gin, and the sweetness from the vermouth harmoniously intertwine to create a remarkable tasting experience. Finally, as a pre-dinner drink, the Negroni is a fantastic companion to a meal, heightening the senses and increasing appetite.

Today, the Negroni remains a beloved choice for many enthusiasts, as well as inspiring numerous variations by bartenders eager to pay homage to the original recipe. It is traditionally served over ice in an old-fashioned glass, garnished with an orange peel to enhance its aroma and aesthetic appeal. With its rich history and striking flavours, the Negroni continues to be a timeless classic that has earned its place in the pantheon of iconic cocktails.