An aperitif is a before-dinner drink that stimulates the appetite—usually it’s something light with a bitter or herbal flavor. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink them before a meal. One of the most well known (and loved) aperitif cocktails is the Negroni, and they’re as popular before dinner as they are late in the evening. This is a drink that had to grow on me, but once it did, I couldn’t get enough of it’s bold flavor. One Negroni leads to more. Also, there are a lot of fun twists on the Negroni … I’ll have to share a few soon!
1 ounce London dry gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Italian sweet vermouth
Fill and old fashioned glass with ice and then pour in each ingredient and stir. Garnish with an orange slice or twist.
Negroni photo by Kenn Wilson
In a seminar about the history of the Negroni a few years ago at Tales of the Cocktail, I liked this old Campari ad they showed that acknowledged just how much of an acquired tasted Campari is: