Ok, I am over all the hype that Martinis have garnered over the last couple of years with Martini Bars springing up in all the world capitals and then being bastardized so that the drink is no longer recognizable. I am a purist at heart and like my martinis pure. Lots of ice-cold gin, just a sniff of vermouth and a twist of lemon.
I am a gin and tonic man, so was rather intrigued when reading ‘The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone’ by Tennessee Williams that all were drinking Negronis which I had not heard of. So after a bit of research I find that the cocktail combines all my favourites in a tantalizing concoction that will take you right back to the ‘la dolce vita’ of Rome in the 50’s
According to the most popular story, the Negroni was invented in Florence in 1919, at Caffè Casoni, It was named for Count Camillo Negroni, the man who invented it by asking a bartender to add gin to the Americano, his favorite drink.
So here is the recipe
1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a burnt orange. To make a burnt orange, cut about a 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch peel off a ripe navel orange. Be sure to get just the skin and as little of the pith as possible. Holding the orange peel between thumb and index fingers with skin facing out, hold a lit match over the glass and with the orange peel about an inch away from the flame squeeze the peel quickly and firmly between your fingers. When done correctly, a burst of flame will come from the oils being released from the peel leaving an aroma and adding a note of orange to the cocktail. Simply drop the twist in the drink.
So lets drink to summer with a negroni in hand and ‘la dolce vita’ on our minds!