Did you read the part where I said I had a sweet tooth yet? It was a post or two ago and you can be forgiven for missing it, but if you do bother to read this blog occasionally then you’ll get the idea. Brockmans for example – love the stuff, not very ginny gin, but deliciously delovely nonetheless. A Negroni however, is a Man’s Drink, and before I get bombarded by feminists, I mean, a man’s drink as opposed to a boy’s drink.
A Negroni is, strictly speaking, equal measures of gin, Campari bitters and vermouth rosso (ie sweet red) and if you stick to those official guidelines then you need a fairly heavyweight gin, or essentially all you end up with is a large Campari, because the Campari has strangled the life out of the other ingredients.
So, taking my bottles of Martini Rosso and Campari Bitters, I chose a couple of gins and threw around a few proportions until I was slightly too tipsy to pour properly. I used the fairly punchy and juniper forward Brokers brand of gin, and slowly dropped the levels of Campari and upped the levels of the other two, and as I did so the whole thing evened itself up more and more into a drink I could quite enjoy. I’m not sure that Count Camillo Negroni would care for me watering down the drink the had deliberately strengthened, and I suspect bartenders around the globe are shaking their heads, but, for me, the best way to enjoy a Negroni is to to take your gin, vermouth and Campari and proportion it 3:3:1, or 3:2:1 if your gin is a little lighter. All in all though, I’m not convinced that it’s not better to save your gin for something else entirely.
I googled more variations and found that substituting the Campari for Aperol will give you a ‘Contessa’, which is far more of a boy’s drink, and, I discovered after venturing to Sainsbury’s for a bottle of the orange liquier, far more my cup of gin.
Unfortunatley there is no photographic evidence of me enjoying my Contessa, so you’ll just have to picture me yourself – a tad shy of 6’2″, bearded, forty four and wearing a lumberjack shirt, really enjoying my boy’s… oh lets face it, GIRL’S drink.