Cocktails with Personality – the Classic Negroni
Vermouth, a fortified wine flavoured with a range of botanicals, was my introduction to the glorious world of alcohol. My grandfather, a sophisticated chap brought up in southern Europe and the Levant, would slip me a watered-down glass of red vermouth at the Sunday lunchtime table. The four-year-old me loved the intensity and sophistication of the flavours compared to the orange squash that was my usual tipple. I still love to drink it as an aperitif or aperitivo if I’m feeling Italian in the form of a classic Negroni. It’s been fantastic to see the increase in the availability of premium vermouths in the last few years with new brands appearing on a regular basis. This variety has added excitement to the world of mixology with vermouth being a staple ingredient in the Negronis, Martinis and Manhattans that are omnipresent in our finest cocktail bars.
So when we were asked to review the new CUCIELO Rosso and CUCIELO Bianco vermouths as well as TV presenter Julia Bradbury and Derbyshire Distillery’s The Outdoor Guide Gin it seemed like a great idea to create our own Classic Negroni recipe. The Negroni is made from equal serves of Campari, Gin and Sweet Red Vermouth and is said to have originated in 1919 in Florence with the eponymous Count Negroni asking a barman to replace the soda in an Americano cocktail (Campari, Sweet Red Vermouth and Soda) with gin.
Traditional Negroni recipe - a Classic Negroni is perfect any time of the year
- 25 ml The Outdoor Guide Gin or your preferred gin
- 25 ml Campari
- 25 ml CUCIELO Rosso vermouth or your preferred vermouth
- Angostura Bitters (optional)
- A slice of orange
Fill up an old-fashioned glass or a tumbler with ice cubes.
Gently stir the gin, Campari, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker.
Pour the blend into the glass.
Pour a few drops of Angostura Bitters into the glass
Garnish with slice of orange.
The combination of the delicious herb and floral notes of the gin with this complex vermouth and the bitterness of the Campari creates an exceptional Negroni with the caramelised orange notes of the vermouth adding depth of flavour.
The Outdoor Guide Gin (£39 75cl) is the brainchild of TV presenter Julia Bradbury and her sister Gina reflecting their love of walking in the Derbyshire countryside. It’s a collaboration between Julia and Gina’s The Outdoor Guide website and Derbyshire Distillery who use state-of-the-art Kothe and Genio stills to create ‘a delicious and unusual gin with a unique blend of fresh botanicals, blending traditional juniper with lavender, marigold and blackberry with hints of nettles and mint, all inspired by the Peak District’. It’s great as part of a G&T or in a hot toddy and is available from www.derbyshiredistillery.com.
The prize-winning CUCIELO Rosso and CUCIELO Bianco vermouths are made in the alpine Piedmont region of Italy classic in the classic Vermouth di Torino style which has a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) appellation. CUCIELO Rosso (75cl RRP £22.95) has a deep red colour with notes of spiced pomegranate and would perk up a classic Negroni, Americano or Manhattan. Or why not try it on its own over ice? You can buy it at Oddbins. Amazon The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt.
CUCIELO Bianco (75cl RRP £21.95) is a light amber colour with vanilla and summer fruit notes with a citric bitterness melded in with the sweetness. Try it in a Spritz with Prosecco and soda or in a White Negroni (replacing the Campari with Suze and the red vermouth with a white) or a golden Martinez. Stockists include Oddbins, Amazon, The Whisky Exchange, and Master of Malt.
With home cocktail making becoming ever more popular it’s well worth investing in high-quality premium ingredients such as these to give your drinks that extra zing. Happy drinking!