Happy Hour: Negroni
Serve on the rocks or straight up with a sliver of orange peel.
Although I’ve never tried a Negroni before, I am familiar with what goes into the drink. It is always made with an orange bitters, traditionally Campari, which gives the drink it’s characteristic red/orange coloring. As I have mentioned, I am not one for bitter flavors, but since a bottle of Gran Classico came into my life (h/t Pauline) I thought I’d give it a go.
And, it *is* quite bitter. It’s not one of those drinks that you can just toss back. You’ve got to work at it - take a sip, let it linger and then come back to it. There are a lot of complex flavors unfolding, from bitter orange to deep spice to sweet, jammy undertones. I am honestly perplexed by this drink because I can’t figure out how it manages to be quite sweet and so bitter at the same time.
All in all, I think it would make for a nice early fall cocktail. But, as it is considered an apertif, anytime before a meal would be appropriate.
According to Wikipedia, one of the earliest reports of the Negroni came from Orson Welles, who described the drink thusly: “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” (link)
So there you go.