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Negroni construction

  • e_bone Jan 13, 2011 06:47 AM
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One of my winter drinks is a Negroni. I only drink them ~Nov to Feb typically.

Those of you that have made these for a long time- what do you use for ratios? Garnish? And maybe ingredients if you do something other than Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth? I've been making mine approx 2 parts gin, 1 part Campari and .5 part Sweet Vermouth... but have made them with equal gin/campari and liked it just about as much.

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  1. The classic recipe is equal parts of the three liquid ingredients, and I've never thought about tweaking it. Although the classic is also supposed to be served over ice, I prefer it straight up. Orange peel is the traditional garnish, and I think this is the best as well.

    I prefer them during the summer, however, rather than the winter. Campari is a pretty summery sort of ingredient.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Fozzie_Bear

      I agree. Three equal parts, orange and summer.

      1. re: Fozzie_Bear

        I misread your post to mean that a Negroni is equal parts orange and summer. Smiled silently.

        With you, although I prefer them on the rocks. I like how it changes as the ice melts.

        1. re: EvergreenDan

          I also like them on the rocks.

          e bone, you could sub Cynar in place of Campari. It's not the same drink, but delicious, also.

      2. I generally do 1.25-1.5 oz gin something aggressive like Tanqueray, 1 oz Campari, 1 oz vermouth.

        Orange twist, on the rocks.

        1. Replace the gin with bourbon and you've got a Le Boulevardier, another classic and also delicious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Frolic

            Gin in the summer and bourbon in the winter for me!

            1. re: Frolic

              or replace the gin with rye and change the proportions to 2:1:1 and you've got a 1794, another one of my faves.

            2. Equal parts stirred on the rocks with and orange peel (flamed occasionally).

              If I'm having one up the amount of gin is usually at least doubled.

              1. Lots of good thoughts below- so i'll reply to my own. Cynar is artichoke flavored, right? That's a crazy idea and it might just be so crazy as to work. Wish they sold it in a SMALL bottle so I didn't need to risk so much!

                I prefer mine shaken for maximum cold, the pretty looks and the fact that the dilution of ice from the shaking 'cuts it' enjoyably.

                Orange rind is awesome I agree.. never thought to "toast it" - interesting.

                And *anything* with bourbon belongs in someone else's glass! <shivers>

                3 Replies
                1. re: e_bone

                  Cynar is made from artichokes, but it's definitely not artichoke flavored. It is similar in flavor to Campari, but slightly less bitter and a tiny bit earthier.

                  1. re: e_bone

                    a) Cynar is no risk if you like Campari. Trust us.
                    b) My wife used to feel same way about whiskey. She likes most non-scotch whiskey drinks now. The drink that changed her mind is the Paper Airplane (equal parts Bourbon, Campari, Ramazzotti, Lemon), which is itself a variation of the Paper Plane (equal parts Bourbon, Aperol, Ramazzotti, Lemon).

                    Further recipe details (not easily copied into this post) maybe found here
                    http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cockt...

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Argh. Paper Plane as Amaro Nonino, not Ramazzotti. Sigh.

                  2. I personally prefer Cynar in my Negronis - it just has a certain something that pairs up nicely with the gin and vermouth's botanicals. I like a little orange bitters and a twist, and tend to drink them on the rocks (mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to go through the trouble of chilling a cocktail glass, cracking ice, stirring/straining, etc). Also excellent - sub your favorite Tequila for the gin - it goes really well with Cynar and orange.

                    1. Equal parts gin/Camp/sweet vermouth gets my vote (it works and is easy to remember when you get to the later rounds).
                      I often serve them up, but for a really nice presentation, spiral cut an entire orange peel and pack it into an old fashioned glass with cracked ice such that the spiral climbs up the inner wall of the glass; then shake with ice and strain into your glass.

                      1. The perfect negroni in my book is 1 part gin : 1 part Campari : 1 part Punt e Mes, stirred with a flamed orange peel. I am looking forward to trying a Paper Airplane and Le Boulevardier. Is there a specific bourbon that's recommended -- I imagine something on the sweeter side is favored.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JungMann

                          I use Jim Beam bourbon for my Paper [Air]Planes. There is a lot going on in this drink. I don't think you need a sweet bourbon (like Maker's Mark), because the amaro and Campari (or Aperol) both are sweet. You can adjust the acid to suit, if desired, although a 1:1:1:1 ratio is pleasing and easy to remember.

                          I think of a Boulevardier as more of a Manhattan on steroids. (I would say it's not your grandma's Manhattan, but my Omi introduced the family to Campari....) The recipe I quote below is from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. He recommends Carpano Antica, and I second that, although some may prefer a simpler presentation from a mainstream sweet vermouth. The version from Cure in New Orleans uses 1:1:1 and rye and Punt e Mes. You can compare them here: http://www.kindredcocktails.com/cockt...

                          My point is that I don't think you need to go for a sweeter bourbon. there is plenty of sugar in both drinks. The spirit is more prominent in the Boulevardier.

                          I would be interested in hearing other variations.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            Late to the game, but...

                            A sweet bourbon isn't at all necessary, any more than a "sweet" gin is necessary in a Negroni. The vermouth and the Campari have that end of the taste spectrum covered.

                            Matter of fact, you might want to go completely the other direction. I recently had a Boulevardier with rye instead of bourbon. Rittenhouse 100, to be specific. It was fantastic.

                          2. I normally do a 1:1:1 ratio. However, lately I've been subbing Gran Classico for Campari and I think it's even better. The difference reminds me of the first time I used Cocchi Americano in a Corpse Reviver #2 instead of the Lillet. Just a little different and in my mind a lot better. I do back off the Gran Classico a bit (down to .75 oz) and up the gin in response (1.25 oz).

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: cacio e pepe

                              I've never seen Gran Classico before. I bet it isn't distributed in MA. From the description, it sounds fantastic.

                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                It'll get there soon, I'm sure. In the meantime, drinkupny.com carries it if curiosity gets the better of your patience.

                                I've also been doing Boulevardiers with the Gran Classico, Templeton Rye, and Carpano Antica. Just astounding.

                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                  Gran Classico only came out last August, an excellent amaro.

                                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                                    Yes, have a bottle now. Gran Classico is pretty available in Boston at this point. I do need to make some side-by-side drinks comparing it to Campari. Earlier I tried Luxardo Bitter and found that I preferred Campari, despite the Luxardo price advantage.

                                2. 1:1:1, up, orange twist. I ordered one without specifying up or on the rocks at Caffe Giacosa (nee Caffe Casoni), the purported birthplace of the cocktail, and that's how they served it to me. I prefer it up, anyway.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    martini glass?

                                    1. re: tamerlanenj

                                      Triangular cocktail glass. That is clearly a more modern choice, as such glasses didn't become popular and widespread until the 1950s. In 1919, when the Negroni was purportedly invented, an up cocktail could have been served in anything, but a likely candidate was a coupe, a shallow stemmed glass with a rounded bottom, popular for centuries for serving Champagne. Vintage coupes are my first choice for serving up drinks at home these days.

                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  2. What about bitters? Some recipes claim that the Campari counts, but in my book that's an aperitif. I've always enjoyed a dash of angostura, but orange bitters seem to work well, too...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      I also like a dash of orange bitters now and again.

                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                        Non-canonical -- the classic 1:1:1 and nothing else recipe is actually included on the back label of some Campari bottles -- but whatever floats your boat. I ordered a Negroni just a few days ago that clearly had some kind of aromatic bitters added, probably Angostura, and I sent it back.

                                        If you must mess with it, I'd say orange bitters, especially a pretty mild, sweet-spiced one like Regan's No. 6, would make more sense than most. I limit my variations to different gins and/or vermouths.

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          Haven't tried angostura, it seems like it might overcomplicate for my taste, but I may have to try it to see how I really feel. Orange bitters, however, I have done, and really enjoyed. I figure it's legit as a sub for/supplement to the flamed orange peel.

                                        2. I just want to say that this thread shoes how much the cocktail, and it's public reception and perception, has changed in the past ten years. Fabulous.

                                          1. I'll add my oft-aired other complaint, that Campari isn't nearly as pretty in cocktails since it went vegan, switching its main color component from bug juice (cochineal) to a vegetable-based artificial coloring. It's particularly noticeable in the Negroni: it's a flatter, thinner, less vivid carmine color.

                                            I especially dislike the common bartending mistake of upping the gin quotient considerably. Some misguided souls, and they are many, treat the drink like a Martini variant, and only add dashes of vermouth and Campari, even when I specify, "1:1:1". They apparently just can't wrap their minds around the concept of an up cocktail where the base spirit isn't 95% of the drink. Anyway, what I call the Pink Negroni is the bane of my existence. There's a reason I don't mess with the canonical recipe: I think the balance it achieves is perfect.

                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                              I've had that experience as well. I similarly enjoy the well balanced trinity approach, but was served what amounted to a 6:.5:.5 Negroni with a lemon twist. A mighty big potable, indeed.

                                              On a recent trip to a local country club, after being assured by the bartender that he knew how to make the drink, I was suspicious enough to inquire why he had taken out the orange juice. "That's the way the couple who drinks them drinks them." He answered. Disaster narrowly averted.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                Orange Juice?

                                                1. re: JMF

                                                  I've seen bartenders try this variant more than once, and I think it's a terrible idea.

                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    I was also once served a Negroni, that I had ordered "up," with a big wedge of orange affixed to the rim. This, however, was easily remedied after I was served. Coincidentally, the bartender offered an explanation along similar lines, "That's how my Dad always drinks them."

                                                    I realize these two incidents are a small sample upon which to draw a firm conclusion. Nevertheless, I am willing to begin with the hypothesis that in places where these drinks are uncommon but not unheard of, the tastes of a few older patrons have defined the cocktail. I agree that the growth in popularity of the classic cocktail is very cool, but it would be better if the bastardized holdover versions of them would go away.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      So what (if any) garnish is used in the "canonical" version? Is an orange slice acceptable, or must it be rind only? Is flaming required?

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Perhaps it's libatory prescriptivism on my part, but a sixth of an orange hanging off the rim of a cocktail glass just seemed wrong.

                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                          I'm not disagreeing with you; it seems wrong to me, too. I'm just curious where other folks would draw the line. For example, is a 1/4" thick slice from an orange half acceptable? It's a pretty garnish, but is a bit more than the twist I'm used to seeing.

                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                            In that case, I'll avoid the sand altogether and simply note that I'd like an orange twist to garnish a Negroni up. And, note that it never hurts for a bartender to inquire.

                                              2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                you probably won't like this but sometime just for kicks try the deconstructed negroni at Blue Inc. (Boston). Old Tom gin, liquid-nitrogen-whisked Cinzano (not my favorite sweet vermouth), campari foam.

                                                1. re: barleywino

                                                  That place is right down the street from where I work. Will have to get over there soon.

                                                  What does the liquid nitrogen whisking do to the vermouth? I'm not sure what liquid nitrogen whisking actually entails. Pouring in some liquid nitrogen and whisking? Pouring the vermouth into the liquid nitrogen? Cooling the whisk in liquid nitrogen? Taking a few too many bong hits before coming up with a new drink idea?

                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                    they pour the LN2 into the vermouth and whisk it until it turns into tiny balls of sorbet. the Campari foam was my favorite part of the drink actually. what they should do next is coat the inside of the glass with a 1/4" thick layer of frozen vermouth and pour the foam into that "shell" of vermouth. (pass the bong, please)

                                              3. lately ive been preferring them with a bit less campari than the original recipe - like 1/2 oz. i also like to replace the campari with aperol

                                                1. Recently at Catherine Lombardi in New Brunswick, NJ, I ordered a Negroni and the bartender recommended a variant that replaced the gin with whiskey. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was terrific. The Bartender in question was the talented Christopher Stanley, btw...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                    As discussed above, that would be a Boulevardier. It's a drink that's due for a resurgence.

                                                    1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                      Chris is an excellent bartender, with a great knowledge base.

                                                    2. Bumping. I just bought Ramazzotti twice in a row so I'm now itching for some Negronis. LOVE the idea of swapping Cynar for the Campari. Going to have to try that next time if I can get my hands on Cynar around here. I'll be traveling to CT in a few weeks. Maybe they'll have it somewhere there.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: isadorasmama

                                                        When I swap Cynar for the Campari, I like to use Punt e Mes for the vermouth. I like the way Cynar and Punt e Mes go together and the additional bitterness replaces some of the edge lost from the Campari.

                                                        1. re: nickls

                                                          Hmm, now if only I can source Punt e Mes locally.
                                                          If I can't, would you suggest foregoing the Cynar and stick with the Campari?

                                                          1. re: isadorasmama

                                                            I would still give the Cynar a shot without Punt e Mes. I have used Cynar as a straight up replacement for Campari in a number of drinks (when I was out of Campari) and didn't find any that I didn't like that way.

                                                            1. re: nickls

                                                              Since the Cin Cyn is a name for a Negroni with Cynar (and Cinzano sweet vermouth if you want to be true to the name), I was trying to come up with a name for a Cin Cyn made with Punt e Mes.

                                                              I just had a brainwave and had to share: I call it the Puccini.

                                                      2. I enjoy Wondrich's recipes and write-ups on Esquire and it's interesting that he goes with a 2-1-1 ratio. http://www.esquire.com/drinks/negroni...

                                                        It started with a heavy hand on the gin pour, but I've found myself drifting slowly toward his recipe from the classic. The classic can be a little sweet for me, and the gin completely submerged. Perhaps I just like the taste of gin too much.

                                                        1. I've been making my Negronis with Mezcal instead of gin 1:1:1 - gives a nice fuzziness to the tase. I just shake mine up with some ice and pour it out. Someone mentioned Punt E Mes - IMHO that could be a replacement for either the Campari or the vermouth or for both - haven't tried it but I'm sure it would work.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: kagemusha49

                                                            What vermouth are you using with your Mezcal? I have been having a hard time getting through a bottle I was gifted and though I find myself most often drinking Mezcal when the smoke has been tamed with many other flavors, I wouldn't mind giving a simple 3-ingredient cocktail a try.

                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                              Martini and Rossi sweet. However, I'm thinking that I could replace it with Carpano Punt E Mes - might even replace the Campari with that too.

                                                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                Huh? You're suggesting 1 oz gin to 2 oz Punt e Mes? Sounds fine, but it's no Negroni.

                                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                  Actually I was siggesting mezcal instead of gin. The punt e mes was something I was considering as a replacement for the vermouth and also possibly the campari. Upon reflection I think the campari cannot be replaced.

                                                              2. re: JungMann

                                                                If you're having trouble finding a use for Mezcal, try substituting it for tequila in pretty much any tequila cocktail. I've been making "Mezcalritas" this summer (1.5 oz Mezcal, .75 oz lime juice, .5 oz Cointreau, .5 oz agave syrup) and they're fantastic.

                                                                1. re: dfan

                                                                  I did that with the last few ounces of Monte Alban I had, which was godawful to drink straight but worked well in mixed drinks. I have sampled a few better mezcals recently and plan to pick up a bottle of Semillero joven in my next out-of-state order, which has a nice balanced flavor and is not very expensive at ~$30.

                                                            2. what is the best gin / sweet vermouth combination to go with

                                                              I generally drink Hendricks or Nolets Gin, but they will be all wrong for this drink

                                                              I need to pick up a dry gin bottle, not exactly sure what to go with - beefeaters has always been OK to me and i dont care for tangeray or bombay - they taste like xmas trees - i would certainly be willing to take a swing at something else that isnt beefeaters if it will be better with some other drinks needing dry gin

                                                              how long is the sweet vermouth going to last before it goes bad?

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Dapuma

                                                                Personally, I think a strong juniper ("xmas tree") gin is call for to stand up to the other strong flavors in a Negroni.

                                                                The "party line" is that sweet vermouth quickly goes off -- in a matter of weeks if unrefrigerated and un-evacuated -- or months if refrigerated and evacuated. However, I recently tasted a last-year bottle of sweet next to a fresh bottle, and there was very little difference. I think the sugar helps preserve it. Dry vermouth is a different story.

                                                                I have also been experimenting with the Perfect Negroni and like it a lot:
                                                                1 oz Gin
                                                                1 oz Campari
                                                                1/2 oz Sweet vermouth (extra points for Punt e Mes)
                                                                1/2 oz Dry vermouth

                                                                It makes for a much less sweet drink. It is more strongly flavored than a Negroni made with extra gin. Without dry vermouth, I'm making them with 1-1/2oz gin : 1 : 1 to keep the sweetness down.

                                                                I have a bottle of Cocchi vermouth that I'm anxious to try in this.

                                                                --
                                                                www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                  I just got back from London and had this drink at Rules

                                                                  Golden Negroni

                                                                  Tanqueray Gin & Campari,

                                                                  Cinzano Orancio & Miclo Poire William Citrus

                                                                  It was pretty much amazing - which is why I believe i will like a traditional Negroni or something similar

                                                                  I am due for a dry juniper gin to add to the collection just trying go with something that i might like other than tangeray - at home i would use it for mixing drinks only, anything with club soda etc would be nolets or hendricks

                                                                  Would Plymouth be a good choice for negroni or stick with beefeater / tanqueray

                                                                  why is punt e mes better vermouth, i have seen that mentioned in many threads about manhattens and negronis

                                                                  when i googled it there seemed to be carpano punt e mes and another bottle that didnt say carpano on it

                                                                  is there a difference?

                                                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                                                    I've not heard of Cinzano Orancio here in the US. I assume it is an orange-forward sweet vermouth (?). Orange is not a normal flavor in a Negroni, except that in Campari and sometimes the garnish.

                                                                    I like Tanqueray for a Negroni, but that's me. It has plenty of juniper and is a bit higher in proof. Plymouth is sweeter, and to my taste, the classic 1:1:1 Negroni is already a bit too sweet. Your taste may vary, of course.

                                                                    Punt e Mes is made by Carpano and is much more bitter than regular sweet vermouth (which is hardly bitter at all). Bitter lovers, like me, like the way it accentuates that aspect of the drink. Carpano also makes Antica Formula (known around here as CAF for short). It is harder to find, comes in a 1L bottle in a metal can. It is supposed to be a more historic vermouth. It is less bitter than Punt e Mes, but much more bitter than regular sweet vermouth. It also has a strong vanilla flavor not found in other vermouths. Some here love it, although it tends to dominate a drink unless the quantity is adjusted. Others like it only straight (I'm always looking out for you, StriperGuy).

                                                                    If you are interested in learning more, read http://www.vermouth101.com/

                                                                    --
                                                                    www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                      I cannot find any place to get the cinzano orancio in the US, but yes it is orange vermouth - and the golden negroni was served on the rocks was a red crimson color and was awesome - trying to source the apple liqueror and the cinzano is going to be super pricy from what i saw online the pear stuff is $50 us per fifth and the cinzano isnt expensive but the shipping is, and i cannot find a place that has both - if you have any better luck let me know

                                                                      reading the vermouth 101 site is a good read thanks

                                                                      so wether the bottle reads Punt e Mes v Carpano Punt e Mes it is the same liquid inside, just regional labeling?

                                                                      1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                        I just picked up a bottle in Vancouver. Interesting and worth remembering on your next trip to our neighbors to the north.

                                                                      2. re: Dapuma

                                                                        I'm a Plymouth girl all day, but in my Negroni, I prefer a traditional London Dry, usually Beefeater.

                                                                  2. i had a negroni last month when i was in cleveland at Lola's. It was made with the addition of aranciata in addition to the usual ingredients, and it was the best negroni i'd ever had. the gin was an american british dry style, heavy on the aromatics, it is was some old type of italian vermouth - the name of which ive completely forgotten

                                                                    1. Here's another Negroni-style twist I came up with recently:

                                                                      1 part rye
                                                                      1 part Chartreuse
                                                                      1 part French vermouth
                                                                      1d grapefruit bitters

                                                                      Unnamed as of yet. Quite tasty, in my opinion! As an aside, I've been using Bulliet rye, which I highly recommend.

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                        Negroni-style, huh? No gin, no bitter, no sweet vermouth. Maybe you should call it a Dirty Green Martini. :p

                                                                        Sounds good.

                                                                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                          A Negroni can be seen as a base pattern for any number of drinks: Spirit, bitter, fortified wine, in equal or nearly equal proportions. (Chartreuse, in my opinion, qualifies as a bitter.) No reason to not take it to its extremes!

                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                            Chartreuse bitter? You going all supertaster on me? :)

                                                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                              Hah! Okay, maybe it doesn't taste especially bitter but IMO it can be roughly classified in the same family of ultra-herbal liqueurs as amari. Does a "bitter" actually have to be bitter? I can't say that of many of the lighter amari, e.g. Montenegro or Lucano.

                                                                              Anyway, it's all semantics. Try the drink; I think you'll enjoy it.

                                                                              (By the way, what would you say if I told you that I classify a Martini as a Manhattan to which a few substitutions have been made?)

                                                                        2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                          Sounds more like a dry Greenpoint than a negroni. And I'll be making one this evening as it also sounds delicious!

                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                            dsp, you really like the Bulleit rye? I thought it was ok the first time I tried it, but recently I was given a few bottles and really sat down with it and I find I don't care for it that much.

                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                              JMF -- can you elaborate on your Bulleit Rye thoughts? Not rye enough? Too smooth?

                                                                              Of the 4 ryes I have on hand, it is complex and spicy enough to mix with, but not so over-the-top spicy that I wouldn't be happy to drink it neat. I like it a lot.

                                                                              --
                                                                              www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                Looks like Dan beat me to the punch on this one. Agreed with what he said. Not only would I not mind drinking Bulleit Rye neat, but I've done so on a few occasions now. I can't say the same for other ryes in the same price range, e.g. Old Overholt, Rittenhouse 100, or my usual go-to, Wild Turkey Rye. (Sazerac 6 might also make that list, but I consider it to be a bit too syrupy so I don't ever use it.) The Bulleit offering, while certainly not the most vibrant rye I've ever sampled, is a great value and I'm definitely a fan.

                                                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                  I'll get back to you on that when I get more given to me since I don't plan to buy any. I didn't take any notes, I just drank it and found that it just didn't agree with me. A bit medicinal and rough if I remember correctly. It had a very different taste from the first time I tried it, so there may be some batch differences going on.

                                                                          2. Over the past year I've favoured 1 oz. Tanqueray: 1 oz. Campari: 3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth and then 1/4 oz. blood orange juice in a shaker over ice.

                                                                            Prior to this the 1:1:1 classic was my go to Negroni. Once and only once I was asked in Malta if I wanted "lemonade" (ie: Sprite) with my Negroni... after giving the barkeep a withering look, I declined the offer.

                                                                            When the weather is hot I like my take on the Malaria Killer, 1 oz. Gin, 1 oz. Campari with carbonated Bitter Lemon (Schweppes).

                                                                            1. I'm going to jump off into the deep end and buy a bottle of Campari. My question is this: I have a bottle of sweet vermouth, but it is opened/stored in my wine cellar for several years. Should I buy a fresh bottle of sweet vermouth as well?

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                Absolutely

                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                  Thanks ...

                                                                                2. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                  Taste it. If it tastes complex, sweet, bitter, herbal and delicious (perhaps with a bit of lemon), then drink it. I've been surprised at how long sweet vermouth lasts. Dry vermouth is a different story.

                                                                                  --
                                                                                  www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                                3. So, I made my first Negroni with Bombay [Original] gin using a one shot ratio of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It isn't blowing me away, but I will give the drink two thumbs up for being complex. Due to living in the fly over zone, I didn't have much choice in the sweet vermouth arena. Does anyone have a recommendation for the best sweet vermouth for a Negroni [and alternatively, is my gin choice sound]?

                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                    Bombay should make a fine Negroni. You may simply need to warm up to the drink. I made several (after having learned to love Campari) before I realized how great a Negroni is.

                                                                                    I love bitter, so I like a Negroni with Punt e Mes (a very bitter Sweet Vermouth). If you like a sweet vermouth straight (or with a bit of citrus), then it should work well in a Negroni. Try to stay above the budget vermouths, like Stock, if you can. Even Martini & Rossi makes a good Negroni.

                                                                                    You might try playing with the ratios. Katie Loeb, bartender at the Oyster House in Philadelphia, is a "super-taster", and prefers:

                                                                                    Negroni (Katie Loeb)
                                                                                    by Katie Loeb - Oyster House, Philadelphia PA

                                                                                    1 1/2 oz Gin, Plymouth
                                                                                    1 oz Sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula
                                                                                    3/4 oz Campari

                                                                                    Stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed orange peel, dropped into glass.

                                                                                    Carpano Antica Forumla is a difficult-to-find premium sweet vermouth modeled after historic sweet vermouth. It is more bitter and complex than is typical, and has a distinctive vanilla-tinged flavor profile. Great stuff. Comes in a 1 liter bottle.

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                                                                                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                      I took a shot of the Campari to register the bitterness into my taste buds ... My initial response was I can taste the bitter orange peels and wouldn't this make an interesting Cointreau substitute in my margaritas. I used Tribuno Sweet Vermouth, which I tried by itself as well and all I got out of it was a sweet, sweet herbal wine taste. Thanks for the recommendations and I will keep plugging away at it.

                                                                                      1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                        A bit of a divergence from the topic, I know, but a negroni is practically a textbook example of the type of drink which should send a supertaster, as originally identified by Bartoshuk et al., running. The Loeb version you describe even more so.

                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                          I do not consider myself a supertaster. I tried two variations from the 1:1:1 ratio and had better success. The first thing I did was cut the Campari down by half of the original ratio and that allowed for some management of the bitterness. Then I tried Dan's suggestion with the Loeb version and I could finally taste the gin doing some of the heavy carrying [and my tastebuds were happier].

                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            I don't understand. A classic 1:1:1 is 33% very bitter Campari and another 33% semi-bitter sweet vermouth. Katie's version uses only 23% Campari and 30% Sweet vermouth (although CAF is a bit more bitter than the usual sweet vermouth). It also uses a sweeter gin. The drink should be quite a bit less bitter than the usual Negroni. She has forumulated it for wider appeal.

                                                                                            It's not to my personal tastes, but I see the logic.

                                                                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                              The Negroni is a bitter drink by design. Frankly, it is what I am drawn to about it. In the Loeb formulation, you have the CAF bitterness and the (albeit reduced) Campari bitterness representing over half the fluid in the glass. Plymouth is certainly not sweet enough to modify the basic profile significantly. The drink may have a broader appeal, but to a textbook supertaster who finds Miller Lite unacceptably bitter, I would think it almost painful. Pure speculation, I know, but the surprise I express is genuine.

                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                I weep for super tasters! What a terrible world they must live in.

                                                                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                  Agreed. It's a very effective euphemism though.

                                                                                                2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                  Miller Lite unnacceptably bitter - LOL - I mentioned this on another thread, their commercials crack me up, their "triple hopping" achieves a whopping IBU rating of 7 while the threshold for humans to taste bitterness is about 10-12 (not sure about STs.) The minimum IBU for a genuine pilsner is either 25 or 35, I can't remember which.

                                                                                                3. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                  i tried making it a bit sweeter by using half aperol and half campari

                                                                                                  didnt care for that - it just tasted strange

                                                                                                  was using punt e mes for sweet vermouth

                                                                                                  For some reason i have liked tossing a bit of club soda on top of the Negroni lately - although i just discovered the Americano which is delicious

                                                                                              2. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                Scaling back the Campari and slowly building up has really helped me enjoy the Negroni. For fun, I substituted a shot of Campari for Triple Sec [Cointreau] in my tried and true margarita recipe and is an agreeable permutation! It almost changes the taste of the lime to a nice tart grapefruit taste.

                                                                                              3. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                i would use Vya sweet vermouth.

                                                                                                1. re: barleywino

                                                                                                  I will have to hit my local liquor store to see if I can find it ... Although my grocer's large liquor section had Campari, all it had Martini and Rossi and Tribuno for the choices in Sweet Vermouth.

                                                                                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                    you might have to mail order it (from California)...i see amazon.com has it too...get the smaller bottles and keep it in the fridge, of course

                                                                                                  2. re: barleywino

                                                                                                    I love, love, love Vya in a Manhattan but I think it's a touch too syrupy and spicy for a Negroni. I like the Negroni to be more on the thin and refreshing side. YMMV :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                                      fair enough!