Saturday, August 22, 2009

No. 61: Negroni


I had a Negroni the first time I ever went to Anvil. After trying a few drinks from the seasonal menu, I asked our bartender, Justin, to make me the drink that he would most like to have at that moment. His response was the Negroni, a drink that highlights one of his favorite cocktail ingredients, the Italian aperitif Campari.

Comprised of equal thirds Campari, gin, and Italian (or sweet) Vermouth and garnished with an orange peel, the Negroni is anything but mild, from its bold red color to its bright and bitter profile, both derived from the Campari; in his anedotal guide to classic cocktails How's Your Drink?, author Eric Felten goes so far as to point out the presence of a Negroni in the hand of many a villain and "ne'er-do-well" in literature and film. Its creation is commonly attributed to one Count Negroni who had his bartender stiffen his Americano by adding gin, sometime in the early 1900s. However, there seems to be little consensus on any details beyond that.

I must admit that I did not especially enjoy my first Negroni; however, I have since developed an appreciation for Campari and look forward to my next experience of this cocktail.

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