The Negroni

For some time now, and more often during the Covid-19 crisis, I have posted a number of recipes – soups, dinner entrees, bread – all of which have been tackled in our kitchen. It did occur to me however, that in these trying times, when many of us are seeking solace, why have I ignored the obvious? Cocktails! Easy enough to grab a beer, or to make a gin and tonic as we get into summer, but let’s think about branching out. Why not a Negroni?

I reached out to friend Mike. I know Mike as a pretty impressive golfer, a landscape design professional, and at about 5 p.m., a brilliant mixologist. (In an aside, it was one of Mike’s friends, knowing his penchant for mixing exotic cocktails, who referred to Mike as a “cocktologist.” I will stick with mixologist.)

Here is Mike’s recipe for the Negroni, and to which I have provided some minor comment. Be careful, as these go down smoothly.

Ingredients:
– 1 oz. London dry gin (Mike typically uses Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire; and says he wouldn’t use a strong botanical gin)
– 1 oz. Campari
– 1 oz. sweet vermouth (Mike uses Martini Rosso or Cinzano Rosso)
– 1 large ice cub (2″ x 2″)
– 1 large navel orange

To quote Mike: “Some folks like to shake the first 3 ingredients, but I’m more a fan of stirring this drink. In a rock’s glass, drop in a solid dry 2″x2″ cube (Mike likes the single large ice cube, thinking that multiple smaller cubes dilute the flavours.) Add the gin, vermouth, and Campari in equal parts. Stir the ingredients – I use a stainless steel twisted spoon – until the alcohol is chilled (about 10 seconds should do). Using a paring knife or a small, sharp peeler, peel back a 2″ x 1/2″ piece of orange peel, making sure to minimize the white pith and expose the underside pores. Rub the peel (pores down) around the glass, then twist it face down over the drink to express the oils over the ice. This will give it that awesome citrus aroma when you inhale as you take the first sip. Drop the peel in the drink and serve.” It may seem like a lot of trouble, but based on a recent Negroni serving by Mike, it was well worth his effort. And he more than proved himself a dedicated mixologist.

I might add that two inch ice cube trays are widely available from $10 and up.