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Mar 4, 2012 05:36 PM

The Negroni

The Negroni! A cocktail most Americans do not know. To bad! It is so fine. Well not many know except among the more Sophisticated of our population. Even just a minute percentage of those who have traveled to its birthplace in Italy will even know of the cocktail. In this country, it is drank more often in the city of New York, a city with a higher "Sophisticate" ratio than most, but still only a few will know of this drink, the Negroni Cocktail.
So what it is it? Well its base is the highly popular aperitif bitter Campari, a Bitter-Sweet aperitif from Torino, Italy. The Negroni made of 1 0z. Cmapari, 1 1/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth, 3/4 oz. Gin, over ice cubes in a Rocks Glass with a splash of Club Soda on top and garnished with a slice of Orange or Orange peel. Voila! The Negroni! Usually drunk as an aperitif before dinner in the early evening, but just as wonderful anytime of the afternoon, especially Alfresco, or late into the evening for that matter.

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

photo Daniel Bellino Zwicke

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  1. FYI, classical proportions of a Negroni is simply equal parts of everything. A splash of soda in a Negroni is tantamount to heresy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      I know that, but that's for people who just read and don't do. I've been drinking Negronis since 1985 and this is the perfect Negroni, no one who reads things in books and has probably just jumped on the Negroni Band-Wagon in the past 2 years or so and hasn't been to italy a dozen times is going to tell me otherwise.

      1. re: xpicassox

        A classic Negroni is equal portions (gin/campari/sweet vermouth). I could cite sources but I'm not sure if they're been to Italy 12 times so I won't bother.

    2. Club soda? Yuck! I'd send such an abomination back to whoever made it. Equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth over ice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pikawicca

        I don't even do rocks... shake it with ice to dilute slightly, and strain. The flavors open up a lot when they're not super cold.

      2. I love a negroni. Lately I have been making a variation with rye instead of gin, can't remember what it's called.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Hoosierland

          A Negroni with rye instead of gin is a Boulevardier. Try saying that after two or three of them! :)

          I love Campari, and try my best to introduce it to as many people as possible. Fresh Orinoco grapefruits are in our stores now (white flesh), so I'm making Campari Grapefruit cocktails at the moment.

          1. re: RelishPDX

            If you have nice fresh Grapefruits Relish, try a "Daniele" Vodka and Grapefruit with a splash of Campari on top. Awsome with fresh Grapefruit. You'll Love it......

            PS...When I had my place "Bar Cichetti" which was the First Venetian Wine Bar (Bacaro) ever in The U.S., we had this poster hanging in the bar.......

            1. re: RelishPDX

              Boulevardier is a Bourbon drink (3 parts Bourbon, 2 parts Campari, 2 parts sweet vermouth) and seems to be an independent invention of the Negroni (appeared in print 20 years prior to the first mention of a Negroni in a cocktail book).

              The rye Negroni or Boulevardier was named more recently the 1794 by Dominic Venegas. This is often a 2 rye, 1 Campari, 1 sweet vermouth with an optional dash of chocolate bitters sometimes included (not in the original though).


              1. re: RelishPDX

                I have recently been drinking an Old Pal, which is 3 parts Bourbon, 2 parts Campari, and 2 parts dry vermouth. Serve up with an orange twist. It's a nice change from my Manhattan - lighter, almost summery.
                I have seen recipes where the proportions are equal, but I have not tried that yet.

                1. re: pcdarnell

                  The original recipe for an Old Pal called for Canadian whisky, but the modern interpretations that I've seen all use American rye as the closest substitute given what Canadian is today. The Savoy version calls for equal parts, but I believe the original from Harry's calls for 4:3:3. (I haven't confirmed this yet -- just reading on-line.) The recipes that I see today call for between 1 and 1 1/2 oz for 3/4 oz each Campari and dry vermouth.

                  This drink doesn't get a lot of love, but it really speaks to me. But then I like my Negronis perfect.


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                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    Thanks for the info. I'll try it with rye and play with the proportions. Maybe if I make mini drinks I can do a side-by-side tasting. I should probably wait for the weekend!

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Maybe people would like it better if they had been to Canada a dozen or more times?

              2. My recommendation: after many ( yes, many) samples of every variation I could reasonably come up with, what works best to my taste is the classic proportion -- 1:1:1 -- using Plymouth gin and Carpano Antico Formula sweet vermouth. I do not shake, but stir. Shaking actually changed the flavor, and not in a favorable way. Muddle an orange slice in the bottom of a glass, and pour over rocks. My very favorite cocktail. And try the Carpano over ice - a fantastic depth of favors. Worth the extra money.

                2 Replies
                1. re: CTeater

                  Well, unless you've been to Italy 12 times, i can't take your recommendation. sorry.

                  1. re: TroyTempest

                    At least 8.......but who's counting.......