The cocktail is an art form that peaked in the middle of the 20th century and has been in rapid decline since. As a young lad, I was schooled in the fine art of cocktailing by my father and grandfathers, I learned many valuable lessons that I plan to pass on. I also want to resurrect some of the old classics that vastly surpass the sugary & fruity concoctions made today with their simplicity, elegance and bold flavors. Most of the time I will focus on one drink, and to provide, at least in my opinion, the definitive recipe, but hope to expand to other related topics as I see fit. Please mix yourself a cocktail, read, drink, and enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Negroni

In 1947 Orson Welles reported on the drink in correspondence with the Coshocton Tribune while working on his film Cagliostro.  He said "The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other."  I love his logic.

This is one of those drinks that I have found people either love or hate.  I made one for a gin loving friend of mine who had never met a drink he did not like and he could not even finish it.  I will admit that Campari can be an acquired taste, but the combination of flavors in the negroni dulls some of the bitterness.

The most popular account of this drinks creation takes place in Florence, Italy in 1919 at Caffè Casoni, (now called Caffè Cavalli).  Count Camillo Negroni, needing something a little stronger than his usual Americano, asked bartender Fosco Scarselli to replace the soda with gin.  I love his logic too.

There really is not much to making this drink; it is equal parts of three ingredients.  I like Plymouth gin in this; I also like to make them small so I can have a few.  One ounce each of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in an ice filled old fashioned glass with a twist of orange is all there is to this Italian classic.  Do not forget to toast the good count and his boozy ways as you suck these little guys down.

1 oz gin
1 oz campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in an ice filled old fashioned glass and garnish with a twist of orange.

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