The Art of The Negroni
“A little like Guinness in some ways - sometimes a good one, sometimes not, but always…always worthy of discussion - a drink to consider, a drink to review, contemplate and mull over.”
If you’re a Negroni connoisseur, the above will no doubt ring true - you’ll get to a swanky bar or classy restaurant and order one, par for the course. You’ll be intrigued if they smoke it, or use some esoteric method or ingredient, but deep down you care little for this, it’s hard enough to make a good one the normal way, you’ll think.
And how true. How difficult it is for a drink in which you stir equal parts of 3 simple ingredients to end up supreme.
Negroni is an art form, and here is our guide to making the most beautiful, ‘bloody hell that’s a good Negroni” Negroni.
What we’re looking for
A Negroni is such a hard drink to make well, as like the three bears porridge, it teeters on the tightrope between so many extremes and getting it ‘just right’ requires such precision. It should be at once sweet and bitter, fruity and secondary, rich and fresh, deep and elegant, subtle and intense, complex and layered. Easy eh?…
The Gin and Vermouth
Choosing the right gin for your Negroni isn’t simply about choosing something classy, or something delicious. You must consider how it interacts with the Vermouth, how they dance together, how they complement and contrast with each other.
Gin brings bitterness, weight and texture to the drink - if you sometimes find your Negroni a little lightweight, or too hot, then it’s likely to do with the gin being so too. Smooth, viscous gins with an abv of 40% or above tend to work well.
From a flavour point of view, think about what you want to taste in your Negroni - florals can potentially make it a little too aromatic, so go for a gin with either a citrus or spice led profile.
How often does one consider the vermouth? Is it the most important part of your Negroni?…Almost certainly!…So you need to pick the right one. It should bring sweetness, richness, length, and flavour complexity to a Negroni, and it should balance the bitterness from the gin and Campari, such that you can feel both sweet and bitter when you drink it.
The issue with Rosso Vermouth is there isn’t much standardisation, some can be incredibly sweet others more reminiscent of red wine.
Then you have the flavourings, or botanicals - there aren’t many rules here, and different producers will have their own unique recipe. As such, two different Rosso Vermouths will lead to two very different Negronis, with different balance, flavour complexity and texture.
Using a vermouth that isn’t too herbal or vinous is a good idea - something with around 120-130gl of sugar.
Play around with your Vermouth and Gin until you get that perfect mix.
An important factor, as you do want a little dilution in a Negroni. But not too much. One large block is ideal, especially if clear ice, as it melts slowly and won’t overly water down your drink as you sip and consider.
It’s easy to just throw a slice of orange in and be done, but honestly, this can have a big impact on your drink. It can throw your whole drink off kilter and into overly sweet territory. Keep it safe with a twist of orange peel, or half a thin slice from a fresh orange.
Why it’s easy with VRSD
At VRSD we’ve created our No.1 London Dry Gin and No.2 Rosso Vermouth to be perfect in a Negroni. So good in fact that we’re not even sure you need any orange garnish at all.
If you’re not in the market for underwhelming Negronis at home then pick up our Negroni Pack for just £79.99 - which will make 20 perfect drinks and you’ll be saying “bloody hell that’s a good Negroni” all the time.