Now I know that some people absolutely love Negronis, but I have to say that they haven’t been my favourite, in fact I hadn’t been tempted to try one until recently. So I was interested to learn what makes a great negroni & how much better one made with good ingredients tastes.
A classic Negroni is made with equal parts Campari, gin and vermouth poured over ice and finished with orange peel, ideally passed quickly over a flame to release that beautiful orange scent. This is a drink that has got a cult following, so we sort expert advice before creating our own version.
For our version of the Negroni, our resident mixologist @roctail recommended starting with a really good gin, and that was easy. Four Pillars Gin, is a stellar locally made gin out of Melbourne, and they kindly sent us a bottle of their Spiced Negroni Gin .
We used Campari bitters in our mix, but if you really want to take your Negroni to the next level try using a French bitters called Dolin Bitter de Chambery.
For the Vermouth you can use a Noilly Pratt, but this makes for a very dry & bitter drink, and I didn’t like the taste. Instead we substituted for another locally made spirit – Maidenii is a Classic Vermouth bottled at Harcourt, a little town North of Melbourne. This is seriously a tasty Vermouth – its really drinkable on its own over ice.
Instead of the classic twist of fresh orange peel to garnish we used a ring of dehydrated blood orange - it looks stunning & gives a really subtle citrus flavour. These are surprisingly easy to prepare at home - preheat your oven to the lowest setting - 60 or 70 degrees is ideal and then lay the round slices of blood orange out on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Leave them in the oven for approximately 6 hours to dehydrate fully and then store in an air-tight container.
We chose a stemless wine glass to serve our Negronis in - not the traditional choice but looked great.
We hope you enjoy what we think is the best version of a Negroni, and features some great Australian spirits from small batch manufacturers.
Steps 1 to 3 - take your stemless wine glass, add a generous handful of ice, then pour in a measure of Campari, and add in a ring of the dehydrated blood oranges.
Steps 4 to 6 - add a measure of gin, and finish of with a measure of Vermouth. Stir and enjoy!
Plus check out our range of Bar Carts & Trolleys - cocktail making just got super stylish.