In this article I will explain how to make a perfect Negroni from the choice of ingredients to the right mixing technique!
Negroni is one of the most famous Italian drinks in the world. It was mixed for the first time in 1919 by the bartender Fosco Scarselli, at Caffè Casoni (later Giacosa caffè) in Florence, at the request of Count Camillo Negroni. The Count, not satisfied with the Americano (click here to find out the recipe), asked Fosco to add some gin to it. If you want to read the story of this drink, I suggest you to read ‘Sulle tracce del Conte’, a book written by Luca Picchi (in Italian).
This drink is an excellent aperitif, with a strong aromatic flavour and sustained alcohol content.
- 3 cl bitter Campari
- 3 cl red vermouth
- 3cl London dry gin
- peel or slice of orange
How to make the Negroni:
Many believe that to make a Negroni you just have to pour the ingredients over ice. I do not agree because this way the drink is too alcoholic.
Let’s see how to prepare a perfect Negroni.
In a 27cl small tumbler pour Campari, vermouth and gin. Add ice time without filling the glass. Stir to dilute the cocktail. Once you reach the desired dilution (taste!) add more ice and decorate with a slice of orange. Dilution in a Negroni is crucial because it lowers the alcohol content of this aperitif, making it more enjoyable. In addition, the stirring also lowers the temperature.
It is not wrong to add soda water however I recommend doing so only at customer’s request.
A personal touch:
As I always say, recipes are guidelines and not laws. I personally do not prepare the Negroni in equal parts, but I’m going to balance the recipe according to the ingredients I use: not all bitter, vermut and gin are the same!
My Negroni is in these proportions: 3cl of Campari, 4cl of vermouth and 2cl of London dry gin. Instead of the orange slice I prefer the peel: an orange twist is perfect.
One last thing: In Italy no one uses a 27cl tumbler. Almost everyone uses a 35cl glass. In these glasses I increase the quantity of each product according.
How to choose the ingredients:
The Negroni is very good mixed with Campari, however, no one will forbid you to try it with other bitter liquors. Some are more delicate, others are more bitter and dry. You can try the bitter liquors made by Berto, Gagliardo, Rossi d’Angera, Martini, Nardini, Carlo Alberto, Poli, Negroni, Luxardo, Pallini.
You can also try a different sweet vermut: Carpano, Berto, Cocchi, Macchia, del Professore, Martelletti, Carlo Alberto and the new vermut produced by Martini and Cinzano (not all products of these companies are vermut) and many many more!
As for gin, I prefer to use a London Dry Gin. Beefeater, Tanqueray and Gordon’s are great.
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