The Negroni Cocktail

Thanks to the dynamic duo of Cara and Karlee I’m suddenly inundated with a cupboard full of very familiar liquors, so it’s finally time to bust out my favourite cocktail recipe. This is the big one kids; the aperitif to rule them all, the perfect summer sip, the ayatollah of alcoholla. This is my personal favourite cocktail.

It’s a bittersweet Italian job named The Negroni which not everyone knows about, but they should. About eight to ten years ago it started getting a lot of love on cocktail menus (remember those?) as part of the general resurgence of french and Italian-inspired classics so prized by hipsters and the bartenders that serve them. In our post Covid-19 world I’m sure that if you bellied up to a socially distanced bar in Vancouver or Victoria tonight and asked for a Negroni your bartender would practically weep with joy.

One of my favourite restaurants (also, remember those?) Il Falcone in Courtenay, BC had at one point an entire section of their menu dedicated to the various ways to enjoy a Negroni, featuring myriad combinations of the three principal ingredients: Gin, sweet Vermouth and my old pal Campari who I’ve featured in a couple past recipes on this very site. The combination of these three is boozey, brooding, bitter and herbal, everything that I love in mixed drinks without a lot fuss or fancy techniques.

All you need is a couple glasses – one to mix and one to serve – three types of liquor in equal measure, a bit of orange rind and a nice cushy chair to sink into while you sip… My computer chair is quite plush and I have a Negroni in my off hand while I type this!

The Negroni Cocktail (makes one drink)

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. (30 ml) Gin
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) Sweet Red Vermouth
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) Campari or Aperol
  • Orange Peel sliced thinly and removed of pith

Method

  1. Take your biggest glass or cocktail shaker sans-lid and fill it with three or four large ice cubes. Pour in all ingredients and stir slowly five or six times. In many cases bartenders want to avoid the ice cubes melting into their premium booze, but in this particular case the cocktail actually wants to be “bruised” to get that perfect dilution.
  2. Strain your beautiful red broth into a chilled highball glass with two ice cubes and a twist of orange peel. Slide it slowly across your bar/table and turn the glass a couple times in your hand. Savour this ridiculous ritual and breathe deep. This cocktail is all about preparation.

Music To Mix Negroni’s To: Eagle Eyed Tiger – Apotheosis (Amazon)

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