The Negroni, still a popular Italian cocktail, combines three spirits: Gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in a 1:1:1 ratio. It’s finished off with an orange peel.
Around 1920, Count Cammillo Negroni wandered into his favorite Florentine haunt, Cafe Casoni, and ordered an Americano, a drink made from Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda. The Americano, sometimes referred to as a neutered Negroni, dates back as far as the 1860’s, created at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, Italy, a watering hole for celebrities, including Ernest Hemingway. As a rodeo clown in the American Wild West, Count Negroni came to prefer a stiffer drink and requested the addition of gin. A new drink was born: The Negroni.
During Prohibition, many Americans traveled to Italy on holiday where they could legally drink. In the US, the bitter Campari was classified as a medicinal potion, so returning Americans brought Campari home and enjoyed it without breaking the law. Where there’s a will…
Sparkling Negroni, or as the Italians say, Negroni Sbagliato, (meaning ‘bungled’ or ‘mistaken’) was created when a bartender accidentally substituted sparkling wine for the gin. Or at least, that’s what I hear. Traditionally, a sparkling negroni is comprised of Campari, sweet vermouth and sparkling wine.
But Campari can be a tad too bitter for many. In Mike’s sparkling negroni, he replaced the Campari with Aperol, bringing a fresh, bright citrus flavor and an appealing orange hue. He eliminated the sweet vermouth and added back the gin. And since everything tastes better with a splash of fresh lime juice, he threw a shot of that in, too. Then he tops it off with an ounce or two of cava.
In 2002 we discovered cava on a trip to Barcelona. An inexpensive alternative to pricier French champagne, it delivers the dryness of a good champagne as well as the bubbles that make it legendary.
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1.5 oz Aperol
- 1.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz cava
- Lime wedge
- Pour gin, Aperol and lime juice into Old-Fashioned glass filled with ice.
- Add cava. Garnish with lime.
- Salud. “Health for 100 years!”