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The Notorious Negroni

Posted by Hugh Anderson on

Negroni Downton

How many of you know that this week (24th - 30th June) is Negroni Week?

For those that do not know the Negroni, it is to this decade what the Cosmopolitan was to the '90s - a zeitgeist (spirit of the times) defining cocktail that’s as beloved as it is hated. A little like marmite. How did this bitter concoction-made of equal parts Campari, vermouth and gin-go from relative obscurity to headlining every cocktail list worldwide?

The drink originated from Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919. Legend tells that Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend, bartender Forsco Scarselli, to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. Scarselli added an orange garnish, rather than the lemon you’d usually get with an Americano, and the drink took off. Before long, everyone was coming into the bar for a ‘Negroni.’

In the last decade the Negroni has morphed into a mainstay of any self-respecting cocktail menu. This ubiquity is due, in large part, to sheer coincidence. The aughts saw a resurgence in two cocktail staples, gin and bitters which were pushed beyond Angostura by adventurous barkeeps.

The Negroni's popularity shows no sign of slowing. In 2013 the cocktail-industry bible Imbibe launched an event in its honour, and the first Negroni Week included 100 U.S. bars mixing up their best versions of the drink. Just two years later, in 2015, Negroni Week had expanded to 3,500 venues in 42 countries.

Ease of Making: Easy 

Glass Type: Rocks Glass

Taste: Bitter and refreshing (can they be the same?)

Original Recipe:

  • 20ml Explorer’s Gin – the ideal contemporary London Dry
  • 20ml Campari – this is what makes it bitter
  • 20ml Rosso Martini – gives a balanced rich warm sweetness with citrus overtones

Method:

  • Place ice into a cocktail shaker
  • Add the gin, campari and rosso martini
  • Shake vigorously
  • Zest the rims of the rock glasses with orange peel
  • Strain into rock glasses
  • Garnish with orange peel



 


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