There’s a lot of myth and rumour surrounding the invention of the Negroni. The French stake a claim, as well as the Milanese, although the most prevalent comes from Florence and a certain Count Negroni who began ordering his Americanos (Campari, vermouth and soda) with gin in lieu of the soda, and thus the Negroni was born. That’s now largely been debunked, and the general consensus is that the Negroni was invented circa 2013 in Peckham. Despite this, it’s still considered one of the true classics of the cocktail world, and is often called out by bartenders as the ‘perfect cocktail’. It’s certainly true that even a sloppily made Negroni is still a passable 6/10 as a drink, there’s a margin for error on ratios/dilution that you won’t find in very many drinks, so it’s a great safe bet if you don’t trust your bartender.
1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Garnish- Orange peel/lemon peel/orange slice- you do you, yeah?
Stir together, and strain over fresh ice (or up, if you like). Careful not to overdilute, you’re just aiming to give it a quick chill.
That’s it. Don’t get smart with ratios, there’s no need. Don’t double the gin up either, you freaky devil, your Mum still hasn’t got the stains out of the carpet from last time.
You quite often find Negronis used as a test drink for gin reviews, which I always find a bit strange. The special secret botanical in your fancy gin doesn’t have much chance of shining against Campari, so it’s a bit of a waste. Something cheapish, and dry. Use Old Tom and I’m not responsible for your diabetes.
Martini Rosso tastes like mushroom soup. There, I said it. Someone had to. I’d stay away from Antica Formula too, it’s a lovely product by itself, but the vanilla flavour completely dominates cocktails- especially with clear spirits. I wouldn’t use Buckfast for the same reason, and many others.
There’s plenty of advocates for Punt E Mes, although I always find it sends the drink too far down the bitter end of the scale. It’s also far less at home in a Manhattan or Martinez, so unless you exclusively and frequently drink Negronis you probably want a bit more of an all-rounder as a home bottle
We use our own house blend of vermouths, but that’s probably not a something you ever want to admit to- it’ll probably be an online job, but my recommendations would be any of Cocchi de Torino, Berto Rosso or Dolin. If you ever see Chinati Vergano Americano, and are feeling flush, buy it. Although it’s not technically a vermouth (it uses gentian as the bittering agent, rather than wormwood, since you ask), it works as such and is unbelievably good in mixed drinks.
Also, KEEP YOUR VERMOUTH IN THE GODDAMN FRIDGE.
Just a final downer for you- Negronis are insanely full of sugar. Drink 5 and pay for it the next day.