Campari, the Negroni, and my Newest Love Affair

Campari and I are in the midst of a violent love affair. For the most part, it’s pretty tame, but but sometimes I find myself passionately proselytizing in the name of Italian bitter aperitifs. It’s no coincidence that they call it the Red Passion. This stuff is good. I like it on the rocks, with soda, or in any drink. It is masterful.

Don’t be fooled, though. As Anvil says in their last menu, it may be pretty, but it’s bitter inside. It will sneak up on you, too. It’s 24% ABV in the U.S., but that means that it isn’t just a wine. It’s much, much more than that.

The Negroni is, however, not my favorite Campari drink. Still, I like it in the afternoon. For the Negroni, you mix

1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz Campari
garnish with an orange slice

It’s good, but I have the same problem with it that I have with the Americano, which I will discuss at a later date. In the Negroni, you have the bitter sweetness of the vermouth and Campari, but is tempered by the gin, which acts simply to water down the bitterness and tame the sweetness. It sounds like a good thing, but the wonderful notes of the Campari are lost.

Still, if you have someone who appreciates a bitter cocktail, the Negroni may be just the thing. 

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