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Al_Dente

An Ideal Negroni

293 posts in this topic

I've become enamored with this drink as of late, but I've often found that I'm drinking a cocktail that is only a shadow of what it could be. So, aside from a restaurant or two where I know it's made to my liking, I think I'll stick to making them at home.

I need some Campari obviously, but which gin? Which sweet vermouth? What proportions? Any other tips?


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Negroni-invented at a bar in Firenze.

Gins are a matter of preference. Beefeaters is a good and affordable one. Recipe includes sweet and dry vermouth, equal parts; but the majority of bars use just sweet. Garnish is a lime but most places serve an orange since it is a popular Campari garnish.

I love the Negroni! Eventhough I have seeked out it's original place of mixing I have not researched any other history of the cocktail. Ciao.


Terry McNally

co-owner

London Grill

Philadelphia

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I don't think the choice of gin is crucial in the Negroni, although I would avoid the lighter styles, like Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray Ten (regular Bombay or Tanqueray are fine, as is Beefeater, Boodles or even Gordon's). I usually buy Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth -- I'm not very familiar with other brands.

The classic proportions are equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth; that's what Gary Regan (Joy of Mixology), Paul Harrington (Cocktail) and Dale DeGroff (The Craft of the Cocktail) all call for. However, I like slightly more gin in my Negronis -- Dave Wondrich (Splificator here in the forum) calls for 1.5 oz gin to 1 oz. each Campari and sweet vermouth, and that's close to what I prefer.

Gary's recipe is unique among all those mentioned above in that it calls for the drink to be built and served over ice. All the rest are shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. I like mine served up in a cocktail glass, although if you add a big splash of soda and serve it over ice, it makes a nice afternoon drink -- a stronger version of the Americano.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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I like to make mine with the same ratios as Janet and Dave, but a smaller drink: 1 oz gin, .75 oz campari and .75 Carpano Punt e Mes instead of regular sweet vermouth. In general, I'd rather have two small drinks instead of one big one.

From a purely historical standpoint, isn't the formula favored by Janet, Dave and myself a Camparinete, or was that just its original name?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I like to make mine with the same ratios as Janet and Dave, but a smaller drink: 1 oz gin, .75 oz campari and .75 Carpano Punt e Mes instead of regular sweet vermouth.  In general, I'd rather have two small drinks instead of one big one.

Oh good - I've been looking for something else to try with my bottle of Punt e Mes.

I'm with you on the smaller drinks, partly because I can try a greater variety of drinks without getting too loaded, but also because I *hate* getting a cocktail glass filled to the brim, sloshing down my hand until I get the first few sips out of the way. For this reason I love the scaling feature of Cocktaildb.com. I can do the math but why bother when I can get it in two clicks? I scale down to 3.5 oz for my glasses at home, or scale up for a crowd.

Back to Negronis - at the moment I'm using Noilly Prat and Juniper Green Organic Gin.


Edited by Blondie (log)

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Back to Negronis - at the moment I'm using Noilly Prat and Juniper Green Organic Gin.

Ooh, interesting! Dimmi di questo gin.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Back to Negronis - at the moment I'm using Noilly Prat and Juniper Green Organic Gin.

Ooh, interesting! Dimmi di questo gin.

Here you go. I've never seen it in a shop - in fact I can't even remember where I first heard of it. My local liquor guy at the time, the lovely Tom at White's in Montauk, special ordered it for me.


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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I really like Punt e Mes for Negronis. A friend made me the best ones I ever had using it. The gin was regular Bombay.

One of my favorite drinks!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I like to make mine with the same ratios as Janet and Dave, but a smaller drink: 1 oz gin, .75 oz campari and .75 Carpano Punt e Mes instead of regular sweet vermouth.  In general, I'd rather have two small drinks instead of one big one.

From a purely historical standpoint, isn't the formula favored by Janet, Dave and myself a Camparinete, or was that just its original name?

So 3 1/2 oz--the size of my recipe--is now too big? Sheesh, I thought I was hardcore about smaller drinks...

As for the history of the Negroni: pending the arrival of Luca Picchi's 2002 Sulle tracce del conte: la vera storia del cocktail Negroni (Edizioni Plan: 2002) ["On the Trail of the Count: the True Story of the Negroni Cocktail"], which I have just ordered, I'll have to reserve judgment on the common story which has one Count Camillo Negroni inventing it in Florence in 1919 or 1920 when he took to having gin in his Americanos (evidently Picchi makes a good case for it's being true, but we'll see). Apparently, this book holds that the drink was indeed originally served in an Old-Fashioned glass with a splash or two of fizz water (with or without ice I cannot tell), as one would expect if it was simply an Americano stiffened with a "stick" of gin.

The first recipe that I've seen in print for the combination of gin, vermouth and Campari is indeed the one for the "Camparinete," which turns up in the 1930 edition of "Cocktail" Bill Boothby's World Drinks and How to Mix Them. This one is served straight up with a twist of lemon. The proportions--two parts gin to one part each of Campari and vermouth--suggest that it's simply a rather wet Perfect Martini with Campari instead of the French vermouth.

--DW


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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So 3 1/2 oz--the size of my recipe--is now too big? Sheesh, I thought I was hardcore about smaller drinks...

I have small cocktail glasses, so I normally shoot for 2.5 ounces.

As for the history of the Negroni: pending the arrival of Luca Picchi's 2002 Sulle tracce del conte: la vera storia del cocktail Negroni (Edizioni Plan: 2002) ["On the Trail of the Count: the True Story of the Negroni Cocktail"], which I have just ordered, I'll have to reserve judgment on the common story which has one Count Camillo Negroni inventing it in Florence in 1919 or 1920 when he took to having gin in his Americanos (evidently Picchi makes a good case for it's being true, but we'll see). Apparently, this book holds that the drink was indeed originally served in an Old-Fashioned glass with a splash or two of fizz water (with or without ice I cannot tell), as one would expect if it was simply an Americano stiffened with a "stick" of gin.

Very interesting. Ma come mai puoi leggere Italiano? Hai bisogno di un traduttore?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Very interesting.  Ma come mai puoi leggere Italiano?  Hai bisogno di un traduttore?

L'ho imperato solo per leggere questo libro.

Seriously? My father was born in Trieste.

And always remember, "traduttore, traditore" ["translator=traitor"].

--DW


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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I need some Campari obviously, but which gin? Which sweet vermouth? What proportions? Any other tips?

The Campari Group owns Cinzano, so why not use Cinzano vermouth? I actually use Cinzano sweet vermouth all the time ... with the perhaps dubious rationale that sweet vermouth was, to the best of my knowledge, originally an Italian thing. I believe dry vermouth on the other hand is French in origin. Might Noilly Prat be, more or less, the originator of dry vermouth as a mass produced product? The history on their site claims they're the original, since 1813. Anyway, for that also dubious reason I use Noilly Prat as my "house" dry vermouth.

Ciao,

rien

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I've become a fan of a version of the Negroni as served at my neighborhood restaurant and watering hole, Cinnabar in Glendale, CA. They describe it as having a "generous" portion of Campari, with the addition of orange bitters.

Gary and Mardee Regan wrote it up as the "Cinnabar Negroni" in New Classic Cocktails thusly:

2 ounces Campari

1 ounce dry gin

1 ounce sweet vermouth

2 dashes orange bitters

Orange wheel garnish.

It's delightfully piquant and serves as a bracing aperitivo for the fantastic food at Cinnabar (don't miss the not-on-the-menu No-ri Rolls, and the unbelievable Lemongrass Bouillabaisse).

Chuck


Chuck Taggart

The Gumbo Pages, New Orleans / Los Angeles

"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." - Mark Twain, 1884

Bia agus deoch, ceol agus craic.

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Wow, it's early for a cocktail discussion but what the heck. As one who really doesn't love gin, I've substituted Stoli for the gin - can this be legally be called a Negrolschky?

And don't you just love the small bottles of premixed Campari and soda you can find in every little bar in Italy!


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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And don't you just love the small bottles of premixed Campari and soda you can find in every little bar in Italy!

Nifty! It's actually Campari? I usually stock the nonalcoholic version thereof, called Sanbittèr. It makes a pretty good cocktail ingredient too, such as in this tasty long drink I learned from one of the bartenders at Petrossian Bar at Bellagio, Las Vegas. This one won them a prize, and has been a popular choice of guests when we put it on our home cocktail menu (and it's the only reason we ever kept any Alizé around):

BELLISSIMO

1-1/4 ounces Alizé Red Passion

1-1/4 ounces Bacardi Limón rum

1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 large dashes Angostura bitters

1-3/4 ounces Sanbittèr (about 1/2 of a 100ml bottle)

Combine with ice in a large shaker, shake gently and strain into 10-oz. glass with new ice.

Garnish with flag (orange slice and cherry on pick).

(Created by Delos Benedict, Petrossian Bar, Bellagio, Las Vegas. First prize, National Angostura Drink Contest, 1999)


Chuck Taggart

The Gumbo Pages, New Orleans / Los Angeles

"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." - Mark Twain, 1884

Bia agus deoch, ceol agus craic.

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Negroni's are the best. I had an interesting version at Bouchon in Napa last week. Equal parts Campari, Charbay Blood Orange Vodka, and Carpano Antica Formula. I'm not a vodka fan at all, but this was quite good!

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Hmmm...Yeah, it's funny you'd think something as easy as equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and campari would be easy to get right. I've been ordering Negronis as my before dinner drink for about 6 months now and it's interesting the variety of cocktails I've received. Some on the rocks, some up, some with a splash of orange juice or soda...

I didn't see the bartender pour the most recent one at Joe's of Westlake; but, I think she must have used all dry vermouth instead of sweet or perhaps gotten the proportions very wrong. Something was definitely off. At least the waitress asked if I wanted it up or on the rocks. I think our next restaurant outing will be to the Tadich Grill. It will be interesting to see how those old school bartenders interpret it.

At home I favor equal parts Plymouth gin, Noilly Pratt sweet vermouth and Campari. I will have to try the addition of orange bitters, though. That sounds nice.

-Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I got my negroni recipe from a bartender at Il Fornaio after having a couple there and really liking them. Theirs is a simple:

1 part gin

1 part campari

1/2 part dry vermouth

1/2 part sweet vermouth

It's worked for me!

Mike

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I know that it's not classic but my Negroni has half the amount of campari as sweet vermouth. It makes for a smoother, less biting cocktail. it's also better for the people who don't know they like gin yet.

2 oz. Plymouth

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

1/2 oz Campari

stir with big chunks of cold ice and strain into a Marie Antoinette. Garnish with a spiral, orange twist, the orange oil floating like a rainbow in a pool of liquid fire.


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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Does anyone use Campano Antica Formula vermouth? I was served it down in the Bay area a couple weeks ago and now I'm hooked. A little difficult to find, but well worth the results....a seriously, top notch Negroni.

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I know that it's not classic but my Negroni has half the amount of campari as sweet vermouth.  It makes for a smoother, less biting cocktail.  it's also better for the people who don't know they like gin yet.

2 oz. Plymouth

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

1/2 oz Campari

This is very good (I was inspired to make one with Tanqueray, Vya and Campari) but are you sure we can still call it a Negroni? Once we start going 4:2:1, it seems like we're getting very far away from the 1:1:1 original -- perhaps to the extent that it's a different cocktail altogether, despite being made with the same ingredients. Gary Regan apparently came to that conclusion with his 4:1:1 Negroni variant, which he calls a Valentino in his Joy of Mixology book. Your formula strikes me as closer to a tweaked Valentino than a tweaked Negroni.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Does anyone use Campano Antica Formula vermouth?  I was served it down in the Bay area a couple weeks ago and now I'm hooked.  A little difficult to find, but well worth the results....a seriously, top notch Negroni.

I just picked up a bottle Saturday after seeing the Bouchon recipe listed above. I made a standard Negroni and have to say was the best I've ever mixed.

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Does anyone use Campano Antica Formula vermouth?  I was served it down in the Bay area a couple weeks ago and now I'm hooked.  A little difficult to find, but well worth the results....a seriously, top notch Negroni.

I just picked up a bottle Saturday after seeing the Bouchon recipe listed above. I made a standard Negroni and have to say was the best I've ever mixed.

The negroni i had at Bouchon was made with blood orange vodka from Charbay. I'm a gin drinker at heart, and can't stand the taste of vodka, but this was good enough for me to invest in a bottle of Charbay. By the way, hi-times in southern california has it on sale right now for some reason at $9.99.

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According to legend, Negroni was created in the early 1900's and named after Camillo Negroni in Florence, when he decided to add gin to his Americanos to give it some kick.

The original recipe according to Campari calls for 1:1:0.75 proportions of Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth, respectively, shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass, garnish with a "burnt" orange twist. The twist is burnt by holding a flame above the glass, squeezing the orange peel firmly which supposedly causes flames as the oils are released.

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