I've always been fascinated by people with a "signature drink." Not the type of drink that they have named after them, but the type of drink that they order all the time. I've always wondered, first, how did they find or decide on this drink? And second, what did their drink of choice say about them? Perhaps one of the reasons I was intrigued by these drinkers and their single cocktail devotion was that I didn't have a signature drink of my own--that is until I discovered the Negroni.
Supposedly invented in 1919 by Count Negroni in Florence, Italy, the Negroni has become increasingly popular in the past decade along with a number of other classic cocktails. My first encounter with the negroni happened while I was bartending. A guest asked for one and I nervously rifled through the "cocktail recipe catalogue" in my mind and landed on the Negroni--3 ingredients in the golden ratio of 1-1-1 (all ingredients in equal parts). Simple, right? After placing the gorgeous, vibrantly red cocktail in front of my guest, I watched in anticipation for her reaction. "Perfect." And before I had even tasted my first negroni I was hooked.
And then I tasted one. Oh boy was there a lot going on in that first sip! It was all at once sweet, savory and crisp and had a lightly bitter backbone which made me want to go back for more immediately. As I kept sipping, I found that the drink was opening up and coming to life. First I noticed the the botanical notes from the gin, then the zing of cooked fruit from the Campari and then a wave of smooth herbaceous flavor from the sweet vermouth. To say the least, every sip made me feel as if I had a new drink as the ingredients continued to layer and weave themselves together. It was a wonderful experience. Such a wonderful experience, that I have since made the Negroni "my drink." I hope you'll give it a shot and have a similar experience to mine, if not though, I hope you'll find "your drink" sometime soon. Cheers!
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce Campari, an Italian liqueur
1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
- Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice. Gently stir for approximately 30 seconds. Strain and garnish with orange twist.