March 8th, 2010
Titillating Tipples: Thank the Good Count, Negroni
Much in the same vein as “The First Sip,” we’re going to start running a regular column glorifying the art of the cocktail. Our new author is the one and only Mindy. You can find her honing her craft or crafting your buzz at Anvil – Bar & Refuge on Monday nights. For those of you looking to discover a drink other than your typical Jack and Coke, you’ll find it here. Others, with aspirations of becoming a mixologist, may find some tricks to help you earn your degree. We’re quite sure that no matter what you’re looking for, you will enjoy this tryst with our newest “barlesque” contributor.
I was first introduced to classic cocktails by a friend of mine in 2007. From that introduction, the Negroni was the culprit that sealed my fate as an aspiring connoisseur. The setting was pristine. I just won a cocktail competition through Hilton Hotels for the Top Bar Chef challenge and took home the grand prize of a trip for two to Puerto Rico. My first celebratory cocktail of the night was at Mr. B’s Bistro in New Orleans with the judge, Tony Abou-Ganim, and he had a Negroni. I fell in love…. with the drink.
The Negroni cocktail consists of Campari, sweet vermouth and gin. It is a modification of the Americano, which is sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda over ice. The tale of it’s invention comes straight from Florence, Italy when Count Camillo Negroni asked for his usual Americano strengthened with gin rather than diluted with club soda. The bartender, Fosco Scarselli, did so and garnished this new drink with an orange peel to signify the difference in the drinks.
How I like my Negroni:
1 oz Campari – a bitter Italian apertif made with orange peels
1 oz Carpano Antica Italian vermouth
1 oz Gin (I like Haymans Old Tom because it is a little sweeter and, in my opinion, works with the bitter Campari)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir with a barspoon until the outside of the glass has a nice condensation. Strain into your favorite cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel, you can do this by using a vegetable peeler over the outside of the orange. Once you have the peel, turn the skin side down and express the oils of the skin onto the cocktail. The fresh orange oil adds a certain brightness to this lovely classic. I like to flame the orange peel by flashing a flame over the oil and onto the cocktail. I love the crisp smell of flamed orange oil.
When you enjoy your Negroni, I hope you have such fond memories as I.
[Follow Mindy on Twitter @drinkswmindy or, better yet, catch her up at Anvil on Mindays]