OCT 5, 2017
LET’S TALK NEGRONIS
With Cayman Cocktail Week in full swing, our city-inspired Negroni’s are creating some buzz around the island and it got us thinking on why the love for this classic cocktail is so infectious. This herbaceous, bittersweet concoction has been exciting palates and creating conversation for over 100 years so it’s no wonder this historic drink is experiencing a revival all over the world. But where did it really all start?
This delicate cocktail oozes satisfaction but the simplicity of it is what’s key. All you need is four ingredients — gin, sweet vermouth, Campari and an orange twist. However, measure the ratios wrong, fail to mix the cocktail the way it deserves or, even worse, don’t use orange zest oil from the twist and you’ll be having old Count rolling in his grave! Who’s this Count you may ask? Well, legend has it that this drink originated in 1919 in a quaint café in the centre of Florence, Italy called Caffe Casoni, by a man that goes by the name of Count Camillo Negroni. After a long stressful day, he visited his local drinking spot where he asked the bartender (and also friend), Forsco Scarselli, to strengthen his favourite cocktail – the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. Scarselli offered an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink and ‘wah-lah’ this legendary drink was born. It wasn’t long before the crowd began flocking to Caffe Casoni and asking for “one of Count Negroni’s drinks please!”
We spoke to Luca, one of our Mixologists at Anchor & Den (we like to call him ‘Mr. Negroni,’) to get his advice on what is the most fail-safe method to create a perfectly balanced Negroni.
“Start with your three spirits – Campari is simple enough, but there’s a whole world of gin and vermouth to choose from. When choosing your gin go for a clean, classic London dry or navy strength gin – look to see what botanicals are present in the gin. You will want a strong flavour profile, something that will stand its ground against the Campari. When it comes to vermouths, not all vermouths taste the same, so for a Negroni you need a sweet vermouth. Each brand has its own signature flavour and personality, making each drink different but we recommend Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth. When preparing your drink make sure you stick to the 1:1:1 ratio; if you stick to this rule it’s very difficult to get it wrong. Finally, the orange is key – we like to use a large peel to get all the essential oils on to the glass for that extra flavour!”
If like us this has got your taste buds tingling for this bittersweet concoction, swing by Anchor & Den all month long. Not only do we have an incredible barrel-aged classic Negroni on offer but 4 other twists inspired by iconic cities like Milano, Roma and Palermo.