You may have noticed I refrained from delving into the myriad cocktail concoctions that have sprung up in the last few years in response to St. Patrick’s day. Although Medori Martinis and Baily’s-laced White Russians might be “St. Paddy’s” for some, for me unless you’re drinking Irish Whisky, Guinness or green-tinted beer, you’re not doing it right.
That aside, I felt I owed my readers a true Vintage cocktail recipe. So this week we’re featuring Campari, with its most famous cocktail, Negroni.
The story of the Negroni (by most accounts) dates back to the 1920s, when Count Cammillo Negroni ordered an Americano (Campari, Vermouth and Soda) with Gin in place of the fizzy stuff, at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy. The stronger drink caught on, and became a favorite of Continentals and Americanos alike.
Campari on its own is bitter, and I personally don’t have a taste for it. But mixed up the right way, you’ve got a very good, old-style drink that will instantly remind you of what things were like before flavored vodkas ruined everything.
• 1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
• 1 1/2 oz Campari
• 1 1/2 oz gin
• Orange slice or twist for garnish
Build in a large rocks glass or Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes, starting with the Campari, then the Vermouth, then the gin. Give it a couple of stirs with a glass rod and add the orange slice. Can also be shaken with ice and strained into a cocktail glass.
Here’s the recipe for The Americano:
• 1 oz Campari
• 1 oz sweet vermouth
• Club soda
• Orange slice for garnish
Build in a large rocks glass or Old Fashioned glass with ice cubes, starting with the Campari, then the Vermouth, and give it a quick stir. Top off with soda, garnish with orange. This can also be built in a highball glass with more soda.
You can squeeze a little extra orange in either, to taste.
-Tiki Chris reporting from the Palazzo, where they speak Italian at the Tiki Bar.