Today’s Remixed recipe was originally inspired by an Instagram post from my friend Nicolette. Her image of a glistening crimson cocktail (alongside some farmers’ market ramps, of course), looked too delicious to ignore. Apparently, it’s a Negroni! Turns out it was invented in the ’20s, when an Italian count/cowboy (seriously) named Negroni ordered an Americano - Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water - and asked the bartender to replace the soda water with gin. This sounds like my kind of cowboy.
Here’s how to make one at home, compliments of a 1969 edition of The Compleat Imbiber, an anthology edited by Cyril Ray, an English war correspondent turned wine writer. (I love these renaissance men.)
Two notable mixed drinks based on Italian vermouth are the Americano — two-thirds Italian sweet vermouth; one-third Campari, ice, soda-water, and a slice of lemon — and the Negroni — similar, plus a good slug of London dry gin.
Tips for Lazy and Creative Boozers
• Make this recipe even easier by using just a shot each of sweet vermouth, gin, and Campari — no need for soda water, as per Count Negroni.
• Campari, is an herbaceous, bright red, Italian aperitif. It’s a good, glamorous, and refreshing bottle to invest in as the weather warms. After a Negroni or two, you might just start mixing Campari with soda water instead for something lighter (but still pretty-looking).
• Replace the slice of lemon with a piece of orange rind. You can get that with either a vegetable peeler or just a good old-fashioned knife. If you want to show off, light a match to it first to get the oils going.