The Negroni? A question? A question to some? Most of America probably. Many so-called sophisticates have been drinking this “The Negroni” quite a bit in the past 4 years or so. The truly sophisticated, worldly folks have known about them far longer. Me? I’ve been drinking this great Italian-Cocktail for some 28 years now. Yes, I’ve been drinking Negroni’s ever since my first at a Bar in la Bella Roma back in the Summer of 1985. Rome, “The Eternal City” is where I had my first, on that marvelous first trip to Bella Italia. I was quite a young man, and that trip was completely magical, discovering real Italian “Italian Food” for the very first time, I had my first true Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara, Coda di Vacinara, Bucatini Amatriciana, Gelato, and a true Italian Espresso, “Oh Bliss!” Yes it was. I saw The Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Moses at San Pietro en Vincole (Saint Peter in Chains), I saw the Coliseum, The Roman Forum, The Duomo in Florence, Venice and The Grand Canal, Positano, Capri, Napoli, and so much more. Yes the trip was magical. It was magical hanging out at a Bar in the Piazza Popolo drinking my first Campari, and that first of a thousand Negroni’s, or more. Many American’s are just discov-ering its charms, “me and the Negroni,” we go way back; in Rome, Venice, Capri, Positano, Capri, Verona, Bologna, I’ve had Negroni’s all over. And many in New York in restaurants and bars all over Manhattan, and Staten Island where I drink some of the best Negroni’s I’ve ever had, certainly in New York, at my buddy Pat Parotta’s house in Staten Island. Pat pours an awesome Negroni, better than any bartender in the city. He makes them with love and when I go to one of his wonderful little dinner parties, that’s the first thing I have. It’s tradition for us now. Leaving my house in Greenwich Village, I hop on the 1 Train and take it down to the Battery to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. I hop on the ferry, ride across New York Harbor, passing the gorgeous Lady Liberty (The Statue of Liberty) along the way. I get off the ferry. Pat picks me up at the terminal on the Staten Island side. We go to house, and I’m not through the door two minutes and he’s mixing up a nice one. A Negroni that is! Well 2 that is, one for me, and a Negroni for himself. We drink great Italian Wine at those dinner parties, and some of Pat’s tasty food. But we always start it off with our ritualistic Negroni’s alla Patty “P” and you should too.
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
1 ounce Gin
1. Fill a Rocks-Glass or Highball Glass with Ice.
2) Add Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin.
3) Stir ingredients. Garnish with a piece of Orange Peel or slice of Orange.
Note: Orsen Wells after discovering the Negroni while writing a screenplay in Rome, wrote in a correspon-dence back home that he had discovered a delightful Italian Cocktail, “The Negroni.” Welles stated, “It is made of Bitter Campari which is good for the liver, and of Gin which is bad. The two balance each other out.”
photo Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
THE BELLINO NEGRONI
For me, this is the Perfect Negroni. The basic Negroni recipe calls for 3 equal parts(1 oz.) each of Camapari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin in a glass filled with ice, and garnished with an Orange Peel.
For the most perfectly balanced Negroni, I put in slightly less Campari (3/4 oz.), ¾ ounce of Gin, a little more Sweet Vermouth with 1 ¼ ounces, over Ice, add a tiny spalsh of Club Soda and Garnish with a good size piece of Orange. Voila! The Perfect Negroni. Enjoy!
THE NEGRONI is Excerpted From Daniel Bellino-Zwicke 's SUNDAY SAUCE