Articles Tagged: Negroni Week 2011


Negroni Week: The Awards

As I’ve talked at length about Negronis both this week and over the course of the nearly 2 year history of this blog. So I thought, why not declare some of my favorites.

Best Individual Negroni (at a bar): The Winter Negroni at Raines Law Room. (written about in June 2011)

The cocktails on the menu rotate seasonally, so I wouldn’t expect to walk in there and order this drink today. In fact, although I wrote about this in June, I first sampled this delightful cocktail in Spring of this year. The point of difference that made this cocktail stand out was limited edition Beefeater’s Winter Edition gin, with nutmeg and citrus which caused it to really stand out. But also the expert preparation and the full-glass circular ice cubes that Raines’ Law Room uses.

Best Place to Order a Negroni (any Negroni): Amor Y Amargo(written about July 2011)

Between the housemade Vermouth, the wide array of Amaros and an expert selection of classic gin this might be one of the best places I know to order a Negroni. The wide diversity in ingredients, which most bars treat as a specialty item and have perhaps one kind of vermouth; one kind of bitters.

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Negroni Week w/ Old Raj

Dolin’s Rouge is one of my favorite varieties of sweet Vermouth. It tastes thicker than Martini & Rossi. It is lighter than most other Vermouths, and I think makes it an excellent counterpoint to the a thick full bodied Campari (but more on that later). Dolin has a strong bouquet reminiscent of caramel and dried fruit, but unlike many sweet Vermouths it isn’t exceptionally sweet. Its well balanced with sufficient complexity as a good dessert wine ought to have. It has a palette cleansing bitterness at the end, which makes it ideal as an aperitif and a Vermouth in true aperitif fashion (and perhaps ideal for an aperitif cocktail). Although I’ve expressed preference for Vya in the past, I want to say that Dolin Rouge is a very near second.

Old Raj’s 110 proof is a strong and flavorful gin. Warm, Silky, and almost luxurious tasting as a result of the Safron that has been added to the mix. I tend to be biased towards stronger gins in the Negroni, because of the opinionated and strong co-stars in this cocktail.

For this Negroni, as the Dolin Rouge brings flavor, but not the thickness of some other Vermouths, the trick is to thicken up the Campari.

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Other Thoughts

Negroni Week: Music Fridays!

Although Negronis have conquered the cocktail bar, they have struggled to make it into modern music. Nevertheless, I’m combed the internet for the best songs that make reference to the Negroni.

First we start with an Indie Rock band called Lybido from Rome, Italy.

Though I’m hardly an Italian scholar, it seems that the final lyric of the song makes reference to throwing away our beloved Negroni:

The next Negroni related music video comes from Italian pop sensation Eleonora Crupi. The first lyric to her song sets the stage (again roughly translated) “I can’t remember a thing, probably because of drinking too many Negronis.”

Some Aspirin for your hangover? Eleonora, we’ve all been there.

Finally, I leave you with a jazz number from the Negroni’s Trio. No mention of the drink in the song, and I think it’s important to point out that Negroni is the last name of pianist and composer Jose Negroni who heads up the trio- I include it as an honorable mention, because for some reason jazz and Negroni cocktails just seem to go together in my head.

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Negroni week w/ Tru2

Tru2 Gin is a bold gin.  It shares a lot in common with herbal liqueurs. It has a complex and very strong taste, capable of overwhelming nearly any cocktail ingredients. So how did it fare against the strongest of strong ingredients in one of the strongest of gin cocktails?

Fairly well is the answer. Although I was not crazy about this gin as a standard gin because it didn’t work well w/ Tonic, it didn’t work at all in a Tom Collins, and didn’t play nice in an Aviation (you see where I’m going with this). But the strong bouquet of herbs in here, actually works well with Vermouth and can go toe-to-toe with Campari and not back down. I think what’s really interesting about this choice in gin is that it transforms the cocktail almost as much as you can without swapping out one of the ingredients in a straight-up substitution. The Campari balances the strong notes of Coriander and I think the fennel notes really come through and shine here. The clove which is almost overpowering when sipped straight plays nicely and almost adds a sweetness to the drink.

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Negroni week: Bols Genever

Today we have a very special “behind the bar” as part of Negroni week here at the Gin is In. Bols Genever isn’t really a gin. And generally won’t rise to the occasion when mixed like a normal gin. But the one HUGE exception (there’s a few good ones, the Corpse Reviver #2, the martini but, let me have this moment) and that is the Negroni.

It is by far my favorite “use Genever as if it were a gin” cocktail.  A good gin shines in a Negroni, but so does a good Genever. In fact, the malty, complex, almost bourbon like qualities of the Genever – in particular Bols- that make it ill suited to be mixed with tonic water, are exactly what makes the Bols Genever Negroni such a special drink. The Bols Genever makes a strong statement and can standup in this cocktail. It has an unmistakable signature which contrasts with the other two ingredients like a great dish. The Campari brings the bitter and the sour; the Vermouth brings the sweet; and the Genever brings an element of spice and heat. It perks up the cocktail and transforms it from a simple aperitif to a complex sipping drink.

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Negroni Week: Cocktailing by Consensus (Revised, August 2011)

Aaron’s Note: Please excuse this re-post. This isn’t something we normally do around here, but seeing as how this week we’re covering the Negroni cocktail in depth, I felt it worthwhile to re-post this blog post I did earlier this year on the delicious and stimulating cocktail (with a few new editorial comments) Cheers!

Generally the Negroni is considered a “pre-dinner” drink. The bitters, often Campari is designed to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Apertifs and Digestifs in particular are more common in Italian culture; therefore the reputed origin of the Negroni- say Florence, Italy, somewhere around 1919?

Regardless of origin, this drink is classic; however uncommon it may be. In its most general form a Negroni consists of gin (surprise, surprise!), sweet red vermouth, and a bitters/campari. Though in theory an alternative like Cynar could be used, most cocktailians seem to agree that this is a drink for Campari. Though other variations exist, I don’t know if I would call them a true Negroni.

  Source #1 Source #2 Source #3 Source #4 Gin 1 part 1 oz. 1 oz. 1.5 oz. Vemouth 1 part 3/4 oz. 1 oz.

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Negroni Week: Where did it come from?

The Negroni sounds like a cocktail out of movie. Our scene begins in France.

General Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni was a hero in the Franco-Prussian war; a decorated general who served for over 40 years in French military service. After the military? He had a fairly uninteresting life working as a Rodeo Cowboy in the United States.

Anyway, the eponymous cocktail is so called because the Count requested that his local bartender replace the club soda in an American w/ some Gin. For those of you unfamiliar with the Americano, or the Milano-Torino as it was called in the Count’s days, it is an official IBA Cocktail- and if I may comment- one that I’ve never seen anyone order outside of the James Bond movies:

Americano Cocktail: 1 part Campari 1 part Sweet Vermouth 1 part club soda Serve on the rocks with an orange/lemon garnish

What happens when you replace the Club Soda w/ gin? First and foremost, it goes from footnote in the IBA manual to subject matter for this blog. But most importantly, it adds an element of spice. Juniper is a spectacular compliment to the herbs and bitters of the Americano cocktail.

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