The Negroni – Cocktail of the month

31 July 2009
The Negroni – Cocktail of the month

One of the benchmarks in classic cocktail making is the Negroni, so called after Count Camillo Negroni in the early 1900s. A classic combination of Campari, Rosso vermouth, gin and that all important orange zest.

A desert island drink, this would probably be one of my all-time favourites. Perfect for pre-dinner or pre-lunch, the Negroni is the true aperitif, stimulating the taste buds, and perfect for kick-starting any meal experience.

A favourite with our Italian community of bar tenders in five-star London properties, I suspect the Negroni is one of the most popular drinks found on any discerning list. The consistency of the drink depends entirely on the measurement, the balance and the quality of the products.

Brian Silva, at Rules Bar, serves various recipes but just this week he introduced me to a fabulous new recipe that included Aperol, Campari, Cynar and, of course, Tanqueray No. Ten. Round the corner at Operaquarter, Douglas Ankrah's "pop up" bar, he serves it with a side bottle of Campari Bitter, while across the pond at Audrey Saunders's Pegu, another favourite is a White Negroni made with Suze and Beefeater.

So, as you can imagine, the twist is as important as the story. At the chic new Bar Missoni, in Edinburgh, the "Negroni Elegante" is made with Barolo Chinato vermouth, Nardini Ginepro and a generous slosh of Prosecco. For me, though, the final word must go to the service experience of the Negroni.

At the bar at the Dorchester, the Negroni is expertly thrown - a technique not often seen around much today - and served in an elegant orange/red crystal glass, the weight of which tells you this is a serious drink for serious drinkers.

Shaken or thrown

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica Formula or Martini & Rossi)
  • 3 part Tanqueray No. Ten gin


One fantastic glass, served on the rocks, with spritz of orange zest over the glass dropping the peel into the drink

Robbie Bargh, directorGorgeous Group020 7091 7492

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