We’re taking a look at some of the classic variations of the Negroni cocktails, as Negroni week itches closer and closer! Here’s a small educational piece of one of the world’s Best Cocktails.
That’s right. I said it. The Negroni is without a doubt, one of the best classic cocktails. It’s okay if you don’t love it at first. I didn’t either, until I started to appreciate the bitter love of Campari. Now, it is the one drink that I’ll always start off the night, and it seems like I’m not the only one who feels this way. The Negroni Week campaign started in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine, where participating bars would donate to a charitable cause for every Negroni purchased. It’s a truly wonderful campaign, and you’ll definitely want to make sure you follow Liquid Culture in the coming week to get yourself involved!
With that said, I wanted to talk about the classic Negroni cocktail and some of the renditions that have stamped itself in cocktail history. But first, the Negroni.
The most widely accepted story of the origin of the Negroni, starts with the Negroni family (yup, they’re real). Count Camillo Negroni was a well-seasoned traveller, and had a love for Aperitivo cocktails. One night, he had asked his bartender to strengthen his ‘Americano’ cocktail (more on what’s an Americano later). Gin was added, as we presume was inspired from his London travels and the lemon twist was swapped out for orange. Its craze came and went, and it wasn’t until Campari acquired the Wild Turkey Distillery back in 2009 when the Negroni made a comeback. Having launched a very showy event at the iconic ‘Tales of the Cocktail’, it has left a lasting impression in bars all over the world. We’re all Negroni crazy, even myself, and I don’t see it stopping.
The classic cocktail is equal portions of a London Dry Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth, stirred with an Orange Peel. Make sure to take the time to stir this in a mixing glass and strain over 1 large ice cube. It’s what the Camillo Negroni would have wanted.
If the above statements are true, than the Negroni first started off as an Americano. OH, and by the way, this isn’t the ‘Americano’ espresso I’m talking about here. There is actually a cocktail called the Americano! It’s comprised of Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Soda. Lemon peel is also the typical citrus found in the classic recipes. Why isn’t it as popular? Well, there’s a good chance it will be one day, but not with Negroni holding the spotlight like it does today. Once people have moved on from this spirit forward cocktail, I imagine this gaining some attention…some day.
To make the Americano classic, you simply grab a high ball, or the Tossware glass used here, fill with ice and add 1 part Campari, 1 part Sweet Vermouth with 1.5 parts Club Soda. Make sure to garnish with a lemon peel for that extra zest!
If you’ve tasted a Negroni, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard about or even tasted a Boulevardier. It’s not so different from the classic Negroni, but the one thing that must be mentioned is the switch from Gin to Bourbon! Since I prefer my Bourbons with the Orange Peel, I decided to keep that the same, but don’t be surprised if a Lemon peel is used instead. This is completely up to your discretion
The history behind this classic is a bit fuzzy, much like the ingredients of Campari will remain a mystery, but we’re all here to enjoy a cocktail right?
Approach this with the same technique as a Negroni. Fill your mixing glass with 1 part Bourbon, 1 part Campari and 1 part Sweet Vermouth. Make sure the mixing glass is filled with ice and stirred well before straining into a rocks glass over 1 large ice cube.
Lastly, you may have noticed that the glasses were stacked on top of each other in the featured image. Well, those are stackable, and they are plastic. These stunning design was created by the team Tossware and their newly launched 12 oz Rock Whisky Glass. What I love about them is that they are versatile, reusable, and I’m a huge fan of their designs. You can buy and/or personalized the glasses to your preferences, making it perfect for your next event. Check out the links attached for details!
Remember to keep an eye out next week as I run my own “Negroni Week” Campaign so that you can get involved from the comfort of your own home!