Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Negroni

Whilst meditatively strolling through the orchard of his life, Joe stops once again at the the legendary Tree of Classic Cocktails. After considerable scrutiny, (and, being a giant of a man, no need for a stepladder,) he cautiously reaches up into its branches picks the next offering for The Greatest Drink In The World... This Week; The Negroni.

The Recipe:

Mix straight into an ice-filled glass:

- a 2 count gin

- a 2 count Campari

- 1.5 count sweet vermouth

- Stir. Add a small slice of fresh orange.

(It can also be shaken and served as a Martini.)

Joe's Notes: The Negroni is a definitely a drink that will surprise and delight you. The combination of gin with the sweetness of vermouth is balanced with the bitter taste of Campari. I have heard it said that Campari is an acquired taste. Although I would somewhat agree with that, I believe that for many people the fact that Campari with its vibrant red color fools them into believing that it is going to be a sweet drink. After all, most red things, strawberries, grenadine and the such, are sweet.
Many years ago when I was just a lad, Campari had huge success in an advertising campaign in England. The adverts premise was of a beautiful young lady (Lorraine Chase) sitting in the grounds of an English manor house. She is being woo'd by a very posh and upper class young man. "Have you truly been wafted here from paradise" He asks." Nah, Luton Airport!" she replies in a very strong working-class cockney accent.
Campari Luton Airport

These three words boosted sales of Campari in the UK as well as making a "star" of Miss Chase, which, by the way, she still enjoys some thirty years later.
Why, you may ask yourself, should this have such an impact? I believe the answer to this lies in the fact that we can all have two sides to our personality. I don't mean this in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or the 'crazy person-on-the-bus' way. I mean it more in the Mr. Miyagi and Yin and Yang way. We like to be surprised, we like to know what to expect. The success of the movie "The Sixth Sense" was down to the surprise ending. (I won't give away the ending for those three people that haven't yet seen it.)

Similarly, we know the ending to any romantic comedy featuring the lovely Meg Ryan even before the movie has even started. Yet many are still very successful. (Largely due to my wife and her friends.)
The couple sitting on Oprah's couch telling their success of sixty years of marriage. "He is reliable, I know what he is going to say even before he says it sometimes" The audience laughs a knowing laugh." "She is a great cook and still a great lover," the audience stifle a gag, but applaud anyway. "He can still surprise me even after sixty years!" To this the audience give the loudest applause (although many are hoping she is not referring to the whole "lover" thing.)

So sit back and get your bartender to mix you a Negroni and contemplate the Yin and Yang in your life.

Chris's Notes: According to Wikipedia, the biggest truck-stop on the information superhighway, the Negroni was created by bartender Fosco Scarselli in 1919. He came up with it, (and it subsequently named it,) for Italian Count Camillo Negroni, who was looking to strengthen up his favorite drink, The Americano, (Bitters, vermouth, and soda,) which Fosco did by adding gin. Count Negroni dug it so much he ordered it exclusively and his family-owned distillery soon after produced a ready-made version of the drink, called Antico Negroni.

The cheek! Meanwhile, what did poor Fosco Scarselli get? "Avvitato!"

But it was none other than the great Orson Welles who is credited with one of the first reports of the cocktail in 1947. To the Coshocton Tribune he described the this "new drink," The Negroni, by saying, "The Bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other!"

So deep. That guy probably could have started a blog of his own!!!

Cin cin, Signor Welles!

Token "Only Somewhat Related Video:" Luton Airport by Cats U.K.

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