“The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”-Orson Welles (said to have been commenting on the Negroni).
What exactly is a Negroni?
The Negroni is mixed drink said to have been created in Italy about a century ago. The drink is considered an apéritif (I prefer it before dinner, although it may be soothing after as well).
The ingredients are actually very simple; gin, sweet vermouth, and the bright red/orange Italian bitter liqueur Campari in equal parts. Garnish with an orange peel. I like to use one ounce of each stirred and served on the rocks in an Old Fashioned or “rocks” glass. A Collins glass works nicely as well. The melting ice also serves to help the drink from becoming too syrupy. If you find the drink is still a bit too cloying or sweet for your taste, I would up the gin quotient to one and-a-half parts. This may be required if you are using a lower proof gin. I find that a London Dry Gin like 94 proof Beefeater to work quite well in a Negroni and keeps that sweetness in check.
Part of the fun is deciding which gin and sweet vermouth to use. The possibilities and results you may achieve are endless. There are other amaro or bitter liqueurs you might experiment with for fun. In fact I made a "Negroni Bianco" the other night using gin, Cocchi Americano, and Dolin Blanc vermouth to create a light, straw-colored drink. However in a true Negroni, the Campari is ALWAYS required. Accept no substitutes!