The Negroni - this simple yet remarkably balanced cocktail has captured the hearts of many a drinker. It's an alchemical blend of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, served in an old-fashioned glass and garnished with an orange peel. But the Negroni we know and love today has a fascinating history and, like all great things, has evolved over time, like our range of spirits.
The Origins of the Negroni
The Negroni traces its roots back to early 20th-century Italy, with a Count named Camillo Negroni as its originator. As legend has it, in 1919, Count Negroni requested his favourite cocktail, the Americano - a mix of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water - be strengthened with a touch of gin instead of soda water. Fosco Scarselli, the bartender at Caffè Casoni in Florence, where Count Negroni frequented, obliged, and the Negroni was born. The orange garnish? A unique twist to differentiate it from its sibling, the Americano.
The Negroni's Evolution and Variations
Over time, creative bartenders worldwide have concocted alternative versions of the Negroni, adding twists while respecting its perfect tripartite balance.
1. Boulevardier: Replace the gin with bourbon for a warming, whisky-forward variant.
2. Negroni Sbagliato: Substitute the gin with sparkling wine. 'Sbagliato' means 'mistaken' in Italian, as this variant was allegedly created by mistake!
3. White Negroni: Swap the gin for Lillet Blanc and Campari for a gentian liqueur like Suze for a lighter, more floral concoction.
Clyde Valley Plum Gin and the Negroni
Now, what about plum gin and the Negroni? As the name suggests, plum gin is a gin infused with plums from our very own Clyde Valley. Its flavour profile, with fruity and bittersweet notes from plums, adds a whole new layer to the Negroni. Traditional gin's herbal and sometimes juniper-forward nature gets a bittersweet, fruity makeover, adding an unexpected but delightful depth to the Negroni.
The Clyde Valley Plum Gin Negroni Recipe
1 part Biggar plum gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Combine the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir well until everything is mixed and chilled. Garnish with an orange peel, expressing its oils over the drink.
While the history of the Negroni is rich, the cocktail's future is fascinating. The Negroni continues to evolve as we experiment with new ingredients and ways of making it, like adding plum gin. We think an oak-aged plum gin negroni would be rather lovely; who agrees? So, here's to Count Negroni and his request for a stronger drink — and the myriad ways we've reimagined it since.