When was the Negroni invented?
The Negroni cocktail is a classic Italian cocktail that dates back to the early 20th century. The origins of the drink are a bit murky, but the most widely accepted story is that it was created in Florence, Italy, in 1919 by a man named Count Camillo Negroni.
Camillo Negroni, a regular at Casoni in Florence, loved the Americano, but he found it a little light, so he replaced the soda with gin. This raised the alcohol level a lot and made the taste richer and heavier!
As time went on, other customers in this store also gradually fell in love with this wine. The bartender, authorized by the Count, introduced the cocktail to the public in 1962 and named him Negroni. A personalized combination of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, with a complex blend of sweetness and bitterness, this is one of the rare bitters in cocktails!
What Ingredients do I need to make a Negroni cocktail?
- sweet vermouth
- Orange peel or twist, for garnish
How to Make a Perfect Negroni Cocktail
Negroni is a classic cocktail that is typically served as an aperitif before a meal. Here are the steps to serve a Negroni:
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Pour 1 oz of gin, 1 oz of sweet vermouth, and 1 oz of Campari into the mixing glass.
- Stir the ingredients with a bar spoon until well chilled (around 20-30 seconds).
- Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel by expressing the oils over the drink and then rubbing the peel around the rim of the glass before dropping it in the drink.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: Some people prefer to skip the ice in the glass and serve the Negroni straight up, without ice. This is called a “up” Negroni, and it is typically served in a stemmed cocktail glass instead of a rocks glass.
Tip for Making a Negroni
- Use quality ingredients: Negroni is a simple cocktail with only three ingredients, so using high-quality gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari is crucial to make a great-tasting drink.
- Balance the ingredients: Negroni is a bitter and complex cocktail, so it’s important to balance the flavors of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste, but a good starting point is 1:1:1.
- Use a good ice: Using good quality ice will help to keep your drink cold without diluting it too quickly. If possible, use large, clear ice cubes or an ice sphere.
- Stir the cocktail: Stirring the cocktail with ice for around 20-30 seconds will help to chill and dilute the drink, and also help to mix the flavors of the ingredients.
- Garnish with orange peel: The citrus notes of an orange peel can help to balance the bitterness of the cocktail. Be sure to express the oils by twisting the peel over the drink and then rubbing the rim of the glass with the peel before dropping it in the drink.
- Experiment with variations: Once you’ve mastered the classic Negroni, try experimenting with different types of gin or vermouth, or swapping out the Campari for another bitter liqueur to create your own variation of this classic cocktail.
Frequently asked questions
What is the alcohol content of a Negroni?
The alcohol content of a Negroni can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size, but it is typically around 25% ABV (alcohol by volume).
What are some common mistakes to avoid when making a Negroni?
- Using low-quality or incorrect ingredients: A Negroni is a simple cocktail, but the quality of the ingredients can make a big difference. Make sure you use good quality gin, vermouth, and Campari.
- Incorrect ratios: The classic Negroni ratio is 1:1:1 for gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. However, some people prefer a slightly different ratio. Experiment with different ratios to find your perfect balance.
- Over-diluting or under-diluting: Be careful not to over-dilute or under-dilute the drink when stirring or shaking. The Negroni should be well-chilled but not watered down.
- Not using enough ice: Always use plenty of ice when making a Negroni. This will help to properly chill the drink and prevent it from becoming too diluted.
- Incorrect garnish: The Negroni is traditionally garnished with a twist of orange peel. Be sure to use a fresh orange peel and express the oils over the drink before adding it as a garnish.
- Serving temperature: The Negroni should be served well-chilled. If you don’t have access to ice, you can chill the glass in the freezer before making the drink.
What foods pair well with a Negroni?
The Negroni cocktail has a bold and complex flavor profile that pairs well with a variety of foods. Here are some food pairing ideas to try:
- Charcuterie: The bitter and herbal notes in a Negroni complement the savory flavors of cured meats like prosciutto, salami, and chorizo.
- Cheese: A Negroni pairs well with a variety of cheeses, such as sharp cheddar, blue cheese, and aged gouda.
- Olives: The briny, salty flavor of olives contrasts nicely with the bitter notes in a Negroni. Try serving a bowl of mixed olives with your drink.
- Spicy foods: The sweetness in the vermouth and the bitterness of Campari in a Negroni can help to balance the heat in spicy dishes like chili or curry.
- Seafood: A Negroni can be a great pairing with seafood, especially dishes that are rich and buttery, like lobster or scallops.
- Dark chocolate: The bitterness in a Negroni can complement the rich, sweet flavors of dark chocolate. Serve a few pieces of dark chocolate alongside your drink for a simple dessert pairing.
Remember, food and drink pairing is a matter of personal preference. Experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you.
How can I make a low-alcohol Negroni?
If you’re looking for a low-alcohol version of the classic Negroni, you can try using a lower-proof spirit and adjusting the ratios of the other ingredients. Here’s a recipe for a low-alcohol Negroni:
- 1 oz. gin (or a low-alcohol gin alternative like Seedlip Garden 108 or Lyre’s London Dry)
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 oz. Campari
- Soda water
- Orange twist for garnish
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Add the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari to the glass.
- Stir well until chilled.
- Strain the mixture into an ice-filled rocks glass.
- Top with soda water to taste.
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
By adding soda water to the mixture, you can dilute the drink and reduce the alcohol content. You can also experiment with using a lower-proof vermouth or reducing the amount of Campari in the recipe. Remember to taste the drink as you go and adjust the ratios to your liking.