The Negroni cocktail is the perfect aperitivo to drink before a meal. The bitterness from the Campari and vermouth help to stimulate the appetite. The classic Negroni cocktail calls for equal parts Gin, Vermouth and Campari.
For many first time Negroni drinkers, the bitterness of Campari is something that may be an acquired taste. The original Negroni cocktail from Florence is served on the rocks with an orange slice, but most bars will serve it up with an orange twist (in this case, stir it with ice and strain into a cocktail glass). The ingredients are Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth:
The Classic Negroni
1 ounce Gin
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth (Antica Carpano)
1 ounce Campari
There are several Negroni variations that can be made, but this version would be a good starter for “Novice” Negroni drinkers since Aperol is much less bitter than Campari. Cocchi Americano is similar to vermouth using Moscato d’Asti wine as its base – this is an essential ingredient for other cocktails such as the Corpse Reviver #2.
The Novice Negroni
1 ounce Gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano
1 ounce Aperol
If you cannot find Cocchi Americano, Lillet would be a good replacement. Any sweet vermouth, such as Antica Carpano, would also work.
The finished product with the Novice version on the left and the Classic one on the right:
The true Negroni cocktail is made with Campari, but there are other many variations that can replace it such as Cynar or Amaro. Experiment until you find one to your liking.
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Wikipedia (as if that were actually an entity) claims that “most bars” today will make Nigronis with double the gin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negroni#Variations), but then again most bars today probably sell more Bud Light than real beer. You know, I’m always one for measuring in cocktails (and slings!), e.g. a proper Manhattan cannot be made any other way. Here is an interesting link: http://summerfruitcup.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/redvermouth/. Perhaps we should try and replicate the results for ourselves–blind, of course (meaning, we will be blind by the end of the tasting).
Good idea since sweet vermouth brands do differ in taste and each Mixologist tends to have their own preference. Just make sure that all the vermouth is consumed within 30 days of opening.
With Negronis, variation in Gin tastes also affects the overall drink so perhaps a gin, vermouth and combination of both tastings are in order. At least the Campari can stay constant.
And then we go for the Manhattan taste-off.