I recently went to a wedding in Philadelphia for my friends Renee and Joe . We all live in L.A., but they’re from back east so they got married over there. I didn’t know anyone at the wedding except the bride and groom and they were a little busy during the cocktail hour. I ended up hanging out with Nick, husband of the maid of honor. His wife was busy doing her maid of honor duties, so we chatted it up. As we talked, I suspiciously eyed his drink. It was bright red and looked like cough syrup. When I asked him what it was, he said it was a Negroni, an aperitif. “It makes you hungry,” he said. (As if I needed that side effect.) “They’re totally gross, but I love them. Want to taste?” What a pitch. So, of course I tasted it and recoiled in disgust. “You’re crazy. That’s disgusting,” I said. “I know, right? But, just wait. You’ll want one,” he challenged. Cut to a half hour later and I’m loving every minute of my bitter cocktail. My advice before you get hooked… Drink them only as an aperitif, not an all night cocktail. I ended up still drunk at the post wedding brunch.
There are a several versions of Negroni’s you can find. This is my favorite. I found it in “The Ultimate Book of Cocktails” by Stuart Walton. Find it here!
My only tweak is that I like an orange wedge (mandarin or tangerine work, too).* And, I squeeze it in the drink. It definitely cuts the bitterness. Also, I LOVE a big ice cube. I’m definitely getting this and this.
Finally, here’s the recipe:
3 tbsp gin
1 ½ tbsp sweet red vermouth
3 tsp Campari (a little extra doesn’t hurt)
1 ½ tbsp soda water