I’ve had two Negronis in my life. One was at a store opening during LC:M, mixed in a barbershop and presented by model-waiters whose chiselled jaws made receiving one graciously an art form I failed to master; the second was after ill-advised amounts of champagne and sangria on a Wednesday night spent celebrating our friend’s birthday at our favourite local tapas. Both times the concoction before me tasted of pure ethanol and left me gasping after each sip as I feigned indifference and attempted an air of chic nonchalance.
So I agreed to a New Year’s Eve aperitif Negroni with light trepidation and much research.
Our gin collection grows weekly and we have become true juniper snobs. For Christmas the Tall Hungry One received ‘Gin: The Manual‘ from my parents, a gift we found both hilarious and concerning in equal measure.
This is the holy grail of gin, with a thorough review of almost every gin you could possibly have in your repertoire. Plus a bonus section of gin cocktails outlining which gin is best for each. As an old favourite, Plymouth Gin, was mentioned as the go to Negroni gin and an almost fresh bottle nestled on our shelf there really was no dodging the Negroni train.
The recipe calls for one part gin, one part campari and one part sweet vermouth, with (to the delight of Tall Hungry One) a slim wedge of grapefruit used in one of the variations.
I steeled myself and prepared for take off as I stared at the glass of what I assumed would taste of rocket fuel.
Now, maybe it was our expert mixing or perhaps the lack of skill possessed by my previous Negroni mixologists but this was sublime.
Sipped while I stirred the paella starter and cradled by Tall Hungry One as he sat on the balcony watching early evening fireworks, the Negroni effortlessly slid into our favourite cocktail list.
Overall: dangerous if not prepared with care, deliciously smooth when carefully rolled and sipped. 4 ice cubes out of 5.