Negroni: The Return Of A Classic Cocktail

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail that was first mixed up back in 1616 in Florence. Simply a Negroni is made of one part gin, one part sweet vermouth and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. This Italian aperitivo has gone in and out of popularity over the years. But by the 1990s it had all but disappeared from many bar menus. Thanks to the launch of Negroni Week back in 2013, the cocktail has experienced a resurgence, especially with younger crowds. And it has become a mainstay ever since.

We sat down (over a few Negronis, of course) with the Ashleigh Forster, the Beverage Manager at Eataly Toronto to find why Negronis have become so popular again and to learn about the Negroni program at Eataly (that’s right they have over 10 different combinations of the classic cocktail). 

AmongMen: What makes a negroni a classic cocktail you think everyone should try?

Ashleigh Forster: Classics really are classics for a reason. The traditional negroni is made with just three ingredients – Campari, gin, and vermouth – which when prepared properly, creates the perfect balance of bitter and sweet. While incorporating smoke or adding an over-the-top garnish creates an experience for the drinker, there’s something to be said for sticking with traditions that allow the ingredients to shine and makes enjoying the cocktail even easier.

THE HOUSE FAVOURITE CLASSIC NEGRONI

Ingredients:
– 1 ounce Rivo gin
– 1 ounce Campari
– 1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula
– Orange zest

Directions:
– To a mixing glass, add 1 ounce each Rivo gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica Formula.
– Add ice and stir.
– Pour over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass.
– Garnish with orange zest and enjoy!

AM: With so many different variations of the Negroni at Eataly, do you have a favourite?
AF: If I had to pick one negroni from the menu as my favourite, it would have to be The Big Smoke. I love Scotch and have a strong respect for the process that goes into producing it, but I find that peaty Scotch on its own can be intimidating to people who haven’t tried it before because of its intensity and smokey flavour. When we were crafting the negroni list at Trattoria Milano, I immediately knew that I wanted to include one that incorporated peaty Scotch in a more approachable way, and we found the perfect balance between the Laguvulin Scotch, Campari, and Cinzano vermouth. To my surprise and delight, it’s been one of our best-selling Negroni from the menu since we launched the program this past February!

ABOVE: The Big Smoke Negroni

THE BIG SMOKE NEGRONI

Ingredients:
– 0.75 ounces Lagavulin 8 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
– 1 ounce Campari
– 1 ounce Cinzano Vermouth

Directions:
– To a mixing glass, add 0.75 ounces of the Lagavulin, and 1 ounce each of the Campari and Cinzano Vermouth.
– Add ice and stir.
– Pour over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass and enjoy.

Christian Dare

Christian Dare spent much of his formative years working in the fashion industry as a Visual Manager before pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Design. He is the Principal at Christian Dare Creative, the co-founder of Stylist Box and runs a successful men’s lifestyle blog, Christian Dare Edited,focusing on menswear, interior design and craft cocktails. You can find him online at www.christiandareedited.com or follow him on Twitter @christiandare but he is more fun on Instagram christian_dare. 

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