The Negroni

We just love a Negroni. We just love a Negroni. Yes, we had to say it again because we just love a Negroni! We once happened across an article somewhere which made the assertion that should you ask a bartender to name their favourite cocktail, they would offer all manner of drinks first and then, almost without fail, name the Negroni as their second favourite. You have to hand it to this simple drink; only three ingredients but so alluring. Grown up, often served with a masculine hand-hewn shard of ice, and perfect as a late evening drink, you may be forgiven some brooding, ice-swirling moments of contemplation. Deep, dark and full of flavour, its syrupy-sweet bitterness can be expertly tailored to allow different botanicals a chance at seducing your attention.

Classic Negroni at The American Bar, The Savoy Hotel

Classic Negroni at The American Bar, The Savoy Hotel

The traditional Negroni is simply this: equal measures (you decide how generous the portion) of gin, Campari and Martini Rosso. Stirred with ice for a minute and then strained into an Old Fashioned glass with cubed ice or, if you are being fancy, a large piece of hand-cracked ice. Orange peel is the most common garnish but you can try lemon or grapefruit peel for a different twist. We just had to try this style of Negroni when we visited the American Bar at The Savoy, London, and we were not disappointed. On another visit to London, we were brought right up to date with the devilishly good ‘Ristretto Negroni’ from Rich Woods (Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development at one of our personal favourite spots, ‘Duck and Waffle‘ on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in the City of London.) Emerging from an alliance of gin, sweet vermouth and Amaro and then filtered through roasted coffee beans; this drink is legendary. Don’t even get us started on his ‘Nutella Negroni‘…

Bringing us back down to ground level, you may want to be a little more adventurous with your Negroni-making back at home. Wanting to add a bit more ‘Britishness’ into a very Italian concoction, one can excuse the extrovert character of Campari and try one of these local heroes:

Kamm & Sons – a delightfully bitter-sweet aperitif from Alex Kammerling and made from 45 botanicals including ginseng, fresh grapefruit peels and Manuka honey. We just love it!

Amaro London – from Stellacello, a bitter-sweet herbal liqueur with soft citrus overtones that accentuate the eclectic combination of locally sourced ingredients; herbs, fruits and spices. We fell for this on our first tasting.

Please enjoy your Negronis responsibly and don’t forget to tell us about your Negroni recipes by adding a comment below.


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  1. Mike says:

    May 16th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Nutella Negroni? The stuff dreams are made of!!!

  2. Cabinet Rooms says:

    May 16th, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Absolutely. It was out of this world!

  3. Carl says:

    May 21st, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Good to see some more Negroni fans. It’s an interesting drink to give people more used to the tropical fruit and umbrella end of the cocktail spectrum, especially their first sip….
    Now just need to find somewhere in Winchester where they can make me a half decent one.

  4. Cabinet Rooms says:

    May 21st, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Yes, the Negroni is a serious but “accessible” cocktail with some fantastic variations too. Watch out for one of our favourites coming to the blog soon. Negronis are booming in this little corner of Winchester!

  5. Carl says:

    May 23rd, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Any thoughts on the ideal vermouth, or interesting variations? Martini Rossi is my usual choice, but have tried with antica which is good. Would like to try cocchi, but can’t find anywhere local who stock it.

  6. CABINET ROOMS says:

    May 23rd, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    We’ve seen Cocci on the shelves in London but not locally. Perhaps you could order it online? Failing that, Winchester Distillery make an excellent Twisted Nose vermouth, which is delicious!

  7. CABINET ROOMS says:

    May 30th, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Update: we spotted Cocchi for sale in the Solent Cellar in Lymington…

  8. CABINET ROOMS says:

    May 31st, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Also try ‘Punt e Mes’, spotted again in The Solent Cellar in Lymington, Hampshire.