Want to make the Perfect Negroni? THIS is how to crack it!
Negroni, ah where do we start? It's no surprise that the legendary drink continues to experience a comeback. It's seductively vermillion, bracingly bitter, complex but refreshing. Follow our suggestions and the recipe below to make the ideal Negroni at home.
The Negroni has long had a romantic tinge to it, thanks to its links with Italian flair and la bella vita. And, like many classic cocktails, it was born in 1919, when Count Camillo Negroni marched into Caffè Casoni in Florence and demanded a stronger version of an Americano, which is made up of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda. When confronted with this bold request, the bartender substituted gin for soda water, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Is that the case? If you dig a bit deeper, you'll find a second origin myth involving Count Pascal Negroni of France. The reinvented cocktail in this case was a Milano-Torino, which is said to predate the Americano. But let's not get too caught up in the past; instead, let's focus on the present as we provide some pointers on how to make the perfect Negroni.
A great Negroni is one of our favourite gin cocktail recipes, and it's pretty easy to make. The basic recipe calls for 1:1:1 ratios of the three primary ingredients (gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth), making this an excellent drink to make at home.
While this simple recipe provides consistently great results, we occasionally like to slightly increase the quantity of gin in our perfect Negroni for a beautifully balanced and an uber-sippable flavour to relish.
THE PERFECT NEGRONI IS MADE WITH THE BEST INGREDIENTS
Now you're probably wondering: shaken or stirred? Is it better to have it straight up or on the rocks? What type of glasses should you use, too? Allow us to respond to all of your inquiries. A great Negroni doesn't need to be shaken, just like any other short, spirit-based drink that doesn't include fruit juice, which tends to emulsify. Shaking the drink will actually dilute it. Rather, layer your Negroni in a tumbler over ice and serve.
Unlike a typical Martini, the Negroni is equally at home either straight up or on the rocks. If you don't want ice in your cocktail, just whisk the contents together over a few cubes before straining into a chilled coupette. On a more personal note, we prefer a Negroni on the rocks for its bright, aperitif character. Adding a huge block or spherical ice to your drink can chill it without diluting it too much.
There are several types of sweet vermouth to choose from. Carpano Antica is a great all-arounder for Negronis, while Cinzano Rosso is also a good choice (as does Martini Rosso). Punt e Mes, a rich and strong liqueur, is also a fantastic choice for a Negroni with added bitterness and depth.
When it comes to garnishes, the usual choice is orange. Some people like to burn their twists, while others like to add whole slices of citrus for a punch of flavour. Both are good options, therefore we say it depends on your mood.
RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT NEGRONI
- Bab Louie Orange Bitters (25ml)
- Campari (25 mL)
- Sweet vermouth (25 mL) (Carpano Antica, Cinzano Rosso, or Punt e Mes)
Give all three ingredients a few rapid twists over ice in a mixing glass until blended. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice block or sphere (or no ice if you like) and serve with an orange twist or slice as a garnish.
What else can you do around a Negroni?
Play around with the proportions to suit your palate — some people prefer a little less Campari and a little more mellowing vermouth.
Polpo serves a ‘sbagliato' or “mistaken” negroni, which uses prosecco instead of gin, but Bab’s of the opinion that the possibilities are endless. He suggests the Boulevardier, which uses bourbon instead of gin, and The Old Pal, which uses rye instead of gin.
To soften the original negroni, try the slightly sweeter sherry negroni, or the zesty El Pastor mezcal negroni for a luxurious sip.
You may need to seek out a more specialised vendor, but there are a plethora of vermouths to choose from. If the flavour of Campari is too overpowering for you, consider Aperol, which is more muted and sweeter. If you're looking for something more unusual, look for Cynar, an Italian bitter liqueur created from artichokes.
Now that you know all the tricks of the trade, get up and try your first-time, now! And, once you’ve cracked it, show off your bartending abilities on social media once you've perfected the Negroni — don't forget to tag Bab Louie on Instagram so we can see your craft at play!