A CENTURY AGO THE COCKTAIL ACHIEVED PERFECTION when, according to legend, Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender in Florence to stiffen an Americano by replacing the soda water with gin.
The world never looked back. With its cosmically simple 1:1:1 ratio, its balance of bitter and sweet, its pleasant kick, its aura of sophistication, the Negroni has bewitched cocktail lovers ever since.
Perhaps none more so than Matt Hranek, who intones this love song to his favorite drink and offers a curated collection of recipes, both the classic and dozens of variations, deviations, and delicious reinterpretations.
The Le Bristol Paris Negroni
Le Bristol is certainly one of the most elegant hotels in Paris—old-school but not old-fashioned. On a recent trip, I enjoyed their pre-bottled Negroni from room service, and, lucky for me, was privy to the testing with barman Thierry Hernandez. Each arrives chilled in a glass flask, with a glass, some ice, and a slice of orange. The balance and temperature are perfection.
1¼ ounces (40 ml) Tanqueray 10 gin
1¼ ounces (40 ml) Martini & Rossi Vermouth Riserva Speciale Rubino
1¼ ounces (40 ml) Campari
Slice of orange for garnish
Combine the gin, bitters, and Campari in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
If you want to re-create Le Bristol’s method, funnel the mixture into a flask and store in the fridge for later use. To serve, pour the mixture over ice in the glass of your choice and garnish with the orange slice.
Excerpted from The Negroni by Matt Hranek (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021.