Gin is seeing such a cool revival right now, and with such vague indicators of what it means to be gin, the flavour profiles range from floral to herbaceous. The only hard and fast rule of gin is that it ‘has to taste predominantly like juniper.’ It can be made by infusing botanicals into the spirit before distillation, or by adding flavour afterwards.
What this means for your Negroni is that each gin will impart a completely different flavour to the drink. London Dry and Brockman’s will create a very different flavour profile for your cocktail.
Campari is an aperitif that gives the Negroni its bitterness; it’s made by infusing alcohol and water with herbs and fruit. The strong bitter flavour comes from Chinotto oranges; a Ping-Pong sized citrus fruit with an intense sour and extreme bitter taste. Not much for eating but, are great when used as a flavour agent in jams, drinks or candies. These oranges, when mixed with herbs will create an earthy hit to your drink!
Campari gives your Negroni an edge, starting on the sweet side, with a bitter finish. It’s the element that keeps it a sipping drink, making each taste an experience.
Vermouth is actually an aromatized and fortified wine. Aromatized refers to the botanicals it’s flavoured with like herbs, roots, bark, seeds and flowers; while fortified means there’s a touch of added spirits such as brandy, to make it stronger and last longer. Sweet vermouth (used in our Negroni cocktail) originates in Italy from back in the 1700s. It was originally used medicinally before bartenders discovered its amazing contribution to Martinis and Manhattans!
Sweet Vermouth balances the bitterness of Campari, making it a great counterpart to the other flavours in the Negroni.
Lemon twists are made with the outer rind of lemon; the outer rind is packed with oils that give off an aroma and add flavour. For a touch of drama, the twist can be ‘flamed’ (the oils are lit on fire briefly). Some feel this adds a smoky or caramelized hint to the drink, but some purists insist it only ruins the twist.
Garnishing the Negroni with a lemon twist gives the drink a hint of citrus you can, not only taste but, can smell each time you take a sip!
With equal parts gin, Campari and vermouth this drink is the very definition of spirit forward - no mix, no juice, just a twist of lemon. Anyone who loves an IPA beer should definitely give this cocktail a try - the intense bitterness is balanced with a sweet elegance. The colder the better and when it’s chilled to its maximum you can really taste the finish!
Drink this cocktail slowly, sip by sip. Every taste goes from sweet through to bitter with a touch of sour on the way. The lemon peel garnish gives it a citrus twist, the gin rounds the entire drink out with a floral, juniper flavour - it’s not for the faint of palate!
To Make Your Own
Keep it simple: stir, strain and pour.
Mix equal parts gin, Campari, vermouth (usually 1 oz each)
Pour over ice
Do not shake!
Strain into glass
Use King cubes for maximum chill with minimum dilution.
Finish with a lemon twist
At home, Kim makes this drink in batches!
Mix: 6 oz of gin, 6 oz of Campari and 6 oz of vermouth.
Add: a little filtered water (to replace ice) and chill.
Pour: into a your favourite glass and voila!