This week has been a long year, January has been a long decade, the thirteenth month of 2020 if we are being frank. As much as I love a new beginning, I have never been a January person, nor a Monday or morning person and still we move. We made it to the end of the month, touch wood we still have the weekend to go, so go slowly and sofly into the weekend.

Cheers to a good Friday. To celebrate the our first month end, we are raising a glass of a good old. The Negroni. A classic short cocktail with a rather dramatic back story. Funny that, a palette cleanser if there ever was one, much like the new US administration on the heels of the absolute shower in the last four years. Count Camillo Negroni. What a guy. The story goes, he asked for gin instead of soda water to be added to his Americano, a cocktail from the 1800’s, favoured by Americans with a dash of soda water. With gin at its heart the Negroni takes some getting used to, but with Campari and a sweet Italian vermouth at its base it finds its rhythm. Rhythm enough to appear in a James Bond movie as opposed to the weak martini the spy prefers, a negroni is one of the many cocktails consumed on his wild adventures with Gordon’s gin.

Negroni;

  • 1 measure gin
  • 1 measure Campari
  • 1 measure sweet vermouth
  • Orange slice to garnish

Build the drink as listed in a rocks glass with ice, stir and garnish with the orange slice. I prefer having this in a rocks glass which is why I call it the short cocktail, it is such a drink that has more swagger in a short glass than long. Or maybe it’s the colour. If you are lazy like me, buy a pre-mixed negroni from Harvey Nic’s, which is perfectly fine and perfectly perfect.

And whilst we are here we might as well make this a twofer, so here is the recipe for an Americano which the negroni derives, it is only right.

Americano

  • 1 measure Campari
  • 1 measure sweet vermouth
  • soda water
  • Orange slice to garnish

In a highball glass with ice pour in the Campari and sweet vermouth, stir with a cocktail stirrer, top with soda water and finish off with a garnish. It’s a relatively light and a perfectly enjoyable aperitif, you might even forget its an alcoholic beverage.

FYI; I used to be one of those people who measured cocktail ingredients with a shot glass, but there is a world of difference in getting the measurement right so invest in a thing-a-ma-jigger and create the drinks as intended only then will real flavours be revealed, trust a reformed measurer, it makes a difference.

Bottoms up and on to the next good Friday. We will make it.