A Negroni is a great option for a cocktail before a really big meal. It comes from the Latin word which means to open. So it’s really something to stimulate the appetite. It comes from Italy and it utilizes Campari as one of its major ingredients, which is a bitter liqueur. So I’ll get to that in a minute. I’m going to start with one and a half ounces of gin. I like to use a little more gin than in some recipes. Sometimes you see one ounce of gin. I really like that juniper flavor to punch through there.
Now we’re going to use sweet vermouth, a whole ounce of sweet vermouth. Then one ounce of Campari. A whole ounce of Campari sounds like a lot. If you’ve ever tasted it it is pretty bitter, but somehow the gin, vermouth and campari, just create something that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Every time I make one I feel like it shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it is a really extraordinary drink.
And bitterness in cocktails is something that’s really, really great. In food it’s often thought of as a negative thing. You don’t want something to be too bitter, but in drinks it’s very applicable and much more pleasant. So if you’re nervous about something being bitter, because you’ve had a bad experience, say like bitter chocolate or something, try a Negroni and I think you’ll be surprised.
So we’re going to add some ice. We’re going to stir this because it’s all alcoholic ingredients. No need to shake anything. And I’m going to serve this on the rocks. I think that extra dilution really helps bring out some of those more complex flavors from the Campari and the vermouth. Lots of spice, herbs, botanical’s.
You know they used to sort of think of alcohol as having medicinal properties, especially in Italy and it really does sort of help settle your stomach. It’s actually not a bad drink after your meal, too. It’s a nice bookend for a really big dinner. Another really great thing about this drink is that unlike a Manhattan or a Martini, it’s not as strong because the campari and the sweet vermouth are lower in alcohol.
So it’s still stiff, but it doesn’t quite pack the same wallop that a martini does. Okay, so let’s get our frozen rocks glass from the freezer and if you can. get those ice cube trays that make the perfect cube ice. It’s really great for stirred cocktails like this one. Because they’re so big they don’t melt quite as fast and water down your drink too much. Okay, it’s so beautiful.
And for a finishing touch we’re going to garnish this with a twist of orange, just to further bring out those beautiful aromatic notes. So just squeeze the oils over the top, again with the white part of the orange peel facing you, and then squeezing the oils over the top. And that is how you make a classic Negroni.