Count Camillo Negroni was a smart guy. He picked up a taste for hard liquor while working as a clown in the US (no joke…) and asked his bartender to alter his favorite drink at the time, the Americano, to be a bit stronger by adding gin instead of seltzer. While this is a classic cocktail, I personally could not drink it regularly. The strong dose of Campari gives this libation a bitter taste that is better sipped on slowly after some ice dilution.
I made this classic Italian cocktail the night before I left to go to Milan with my parents. Most of my cocktail recipes are from The Complete Cocktail Manual, but may be slightly altered to my own taste. This recipe is unaltered from the original, and is incredibly simple to make due to the equal parts of each ingredient.
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz Campari
Orange peel to garnish
I would serve this with a hearty cheese board with different flavor profiles, charcuterie and an assortment of toppings and olives. Who doesn’t love cheese? Try to have three to four different kinds of cheese plus prosciutto and salami- then load up on the less expensive accompaniments like sliced Italian bread, assorted olives and nuts. Personally, I like a hard cheese like Parmesan, a soft cheese like brie or blue cheese and a cow milk based cheese that is mild. A cheese board doesn’t have to be gigantic to be delicious, as demonstrated below!