I must confess: I really love it the bitter way! Not without exceptions or constantly, of course, but when it comes to having a cocktail settled on the bitter side or spirits with a pungent bitterness, I’m usually pretty amazed. And I also like to drink new variants or creations which certainly have already left the area of mainstream taste. Bitter is certainly a kind of taste to which you have to become accustomed to, or rather one that you have to “learn”. Natural Reluctance is quite normal since bitter flavors originally tended to be a warning system for toxins in the food sources around us.
Fortunately, humankind is the “first freedman of nature” (german: “erster Freigelassener der Natur”), as Herder once said so beautifully, outgrown not only of the immediate binding to the environment, but also able to cognitively reflect his or her sensations, to question them and even to re-evaluate them in a restricted sense. This may also apply to bitter flavors and aromas because their hidden complexity has first to be discovered and appreciation must be learned.
A true classic of such bitter cocktails is the Negroni. And this simple classic is also today’s topic. However, I’d like to proceed quickly to the essentials and avoid rolling out the often recited history of this drink. Only so much: The Negroni originated from Italy of the early 1920s and goes back to the bartender Fosco Scarselli who served the Negroni to Count Camillo Negroni as a variant of the Americano cocktail. It is a true classic and very simple cocktail, whose reputation can easily keep up with the big drinks of the American cocktail culture by now, such as the Martini or the Mint Julep. It consists only of (mostly) equal parts of gin, Campari and vermouth. It is, however, already up to the ingredients, whose intensity and quality are essential to a good Negroni. In this sense I like to build up my Negroni with Monkey 47 Gin and the Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, whose beautiful spice notes of Clove, cinnamon and orange peel work wonderfully in the drink. Salute!
At this point I will certainly link more drinks in the Negroni-style every now and then because you can also wonderfully modify this cocktail and draw your inspiration from the assortment of Italian Amaros or other bitters. Also versions with Bourbon or the like are conceivable. So, examples for Negroni-style drinks would be the Berlioni, the La Merced cocktail, the Bittersweet Garden, the Eeyore’s Requiem, the Neisson Negroni, the Blood Orange Negroni, the White Negroni or the Nuts for Negroni.
2 cl Gin
2 cl Vermouth
2 cl Campari
Preparation: Stir all ingredients in your tumbler on fresh ice cubes and serve.
Garnish: Orange zest
Buying sources: Depending on the chosen spirits or vermouth.