Seeking a refreshingly strong herbal apéritif? Try a Negroni. What is a Negroni? It is simply divine. This bold flavor is comprised a precise mixture of Campari, Gin, and Sweet Vermouth garnished with an orange twist.
Up until about a month ago, I had never had a Negroni. I was introduced to the cocktail when I attended a friend's party and they had rented a party margarita machine, but instead of making frozen slushy margaritas - they poured all the ingredients in the machine to make slushy Negronis. YUM!
While I haven't been able to figure out that mixture of ice/booze (nor do I have a slushy machine) - I have been enjoying a Negroni as a refreshing cocktail after work, or served with a scoop of blood orange sorbet for dessert.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this cocktail, you will need the following ingredients.
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. Gin, I used Bulldog
- 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- An Orange, for making orange twists
Step 2: Bar Tools
To make a Classic Negroni, I used these tools and glassware:
- Old fashioned glasses.
- Bar Spoon
- 1 oz. Jigger
- Peeler/paring knife
- a lighter or match
- Base of a Cocktail Shaker (optional)
Step 3: Add Campari
I measured out an ounce of Campari, and poured it into a glass.
There is a few different schools of thought when it comes to cocktail construction, one is to measure out all of your spirits first, then add ice OR place ice in the glass first, then add your spirits.
If you add your ice first, you end up with faster chilled spirit, but since the last step of this Instructable is to 'stir vigorously', and for the sake of this demonstration, I will add ice last.
Campari, on it's own, is a wonderful apéritif. Celebrated for its citrusy flavors and herbal undertones. It is a strong flavor though, and to pair it with spirits like Gin and Vermouth, you are creating quite the floral cocktail.
Step 4: Add Gin
I measured out 1 oz. of Bulldog Gin and added it to the Campari already in the glass.
Bulldog has a really impressive list of botanical notes in the spirit, making it a perfect candidate to be added to the Negroni. I have made this drink with other gins, but nothing seems to round out the citrus flavor profile like Bulldog.
Step 5: Vermouth and Ice
Add 1 oz. of Sweet Vermouth, and ice.
In college, I was a bartender at a fancy bar where we created a lot of our own infusions and made pretty ritzy cocktails in very fancy glasses. I learned a lot about spirits at that job and how to work with alcohols from the folks that ran the restaurant. But it wasn't until I was writing this instructable that I looked up what vermouth actually is. According to Wikipedia, vermouth is an 'aromatized wine'.
'Vermouth is produced by starting with a base of a neutral grape wine or unfermented wine must. Each manufacturer adds additional alcohol and a proprietary mixture of dry ingredients, consisting of aromatic herbs, roots, and barks, to the base wine, base wine plus spirit or spirit only - which may be redistilled before adding to the wine or unfermented wine must. After the wine is aromatized and fortified, the vermouth is sweetened with either cane sugar or caramelized sugar, depending on the style'
Naturally, with all these herbs, barks, and roots - it is a perfect companion spirit to the Campari and Bulldog Gin.
Step 6: Preparing Twists
Making twists is a lot of fun and there are a few ways to do it - most often they are made with a paring knife or with a peeler.
I like using a peeler because it produces a more delicate twist without too much pith. The pith can be a bitter part of the citrus, and we want to keep that part of the orange away from the herbal flavor profile of the Negroni.
A bartender I worked with liked to make twists that were 'slightly longer the diameter of the glass', that way they could float it on the top of the drink, and it could still peek out the edge of the glass.
Step 7: Flame the Orange Twist
YAY! I love when I get to use fire in the kitchen, but why would you want to flame your orange twist?
A flamed peel creates a heavier, slightly smoky, citrus note in the flavor profile - overall a stronger flavor than a traditional twist. The goal of a good twist is to express the oils in the peel into your cocktail. It's best to use very fresh citrus, so that you get a good amount of oil from the zest - older produce may have a more dried out peel.
To flame the oil from the orange zest, hold a lighter in one hand, and pick up the twist in the other hand. Carefully, hold the twist by it's sides, between thumb and fingers (see image), skin side down, about four inches above the drink.
Pinch the twist sharply, expelling oil from the skin, through the flame and onto the surface of the drink.
If done correctly you will see a big flash of orange oil being ignited. Flashy, huh?
Be sure to wipe the rim of the glass with the peel, so that the orange oil flavor is enjoyed with every sip.
Step 8: Garnish and Stir
Drop your flamed twist into the drink.
Stir quickly until the glass becomes noticeably frosty.
Step 9: Drink and Enjoy
Bottom's up! Or, if you are like me, savor it slowly and allow all the herbal flavors to wash over your palette.
Have variation of your own Negroni that you'd like to share? Publish it in the comments, I would love to see how other people put a spin on this classic.
Make your own Negroni? I want to see it!
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