“The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” Orson Welles
Aperitivo hour, something the Italians do well and the British don’t. From 7pm till 9pm they meet and relax with simple finger food and a light cocktail. There is one cocktail synonymous with this period, the negroni. This classy red charmer is full of bittersweet flavours it will set you up for your meal and get your palate working.
The negroni started its life in the city of Florence, Italy. Paul Henderson suggests in his book GQ Drinks that Count Negroni while on a trip to the UK fell in love with gin and brought it back to Florence with him. Upon his return to Florence he visited his favourite bar, Caffe Casoni, he asked the bartender to make him an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth and soda) but swap the soda for gin. Diffords Guide suggests that other patrons of the bar started asking for “one of the Count Negroni drinks” and soon it became known as the negroni.
The formula for the negroni is pretty simple, three ingredients consisting of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. No shaking involved you can just add the ingredients to a glass filled with ice and give it a stir. If this isn't the correct balance for you try altering the measures. You could also try using different gin, the Jaffa Cake Gin makes a fantastic alternative, try sloe gin for a fruity version.
You could also go down the route of pre-mixed cocktails and we have some excellent examples on the online shop. If you are a fan of the more traditional cocktail then give Troo Cocktails Negroni a go. Or if you fancy the alternative Liquid Intellect produce a Jam Doughnut Negroni made with distilled jam doughnuts!
I shall leave you with the basic and delightful original recipe.
Add all ingredients to a glass filled with ice and stir to combine. Garnish with a slice of orange.