Negroni cocktail is taking all over the UAE bar scene
Very simply a Negroni is one part gin, one part vermouth and one part Campari with a piece of orange peel. It was first created in 1919 in Florence, Italy at the Caffè Casoni. It was invented by a bar tender named Fosco Scarselli, a suave seasoned bar tender, he was famous for his acute understanding of his clientele and ability to serve the cocktail that best suited the mood. The story goes that Scarselli usually served up a cocktail known as an Americano with Campari, vermouth and soda, however, one of his regulars, Camillo Negroni, wanted something with a bit more of a kick, so the soda was replaced with gin and the Negroni was born!
Over the years this traditional recipe has been changed and added to. If you are starting on your cocktail journey it is always best to start at the beginning and try out Scarselli’s original mixture.
Over the years there have been hundreds of different Negroni concoctions. The accidental Negroni Sbagliato was created when the bartender and the Bar Basso in Milan inadvertently and fortuitously poured in sparkling wine instead of gin. If you are a fan of whisky we recommend the Boulevardier Negroni, which replaces the gin with bourbon.
The Negroni cocktail seems to, more than others, inspire the creativity of the bartender, not only combining different fruits and flavours but also playing with unique liquor combinations. Creating truly unusual combinations. This really is a cocktail aficionados’ drink.
The On the Left Bank Negroni is a wonderful salute to the French and Italians, combining the unusual aperitif Lillet (a type of French gin) and Cynar, which is an Italian artichoke based bitter liquor, with a dash of Grand Marnier; very sweet, traditional and a little on the quirky side.
The famed bartender and mixologist John Gertsen has heavily influenced the Negroni scene, with an interesting creation named The Knickroni. A twist on a 19th century French Apéritif, this cocktail comes with a dash of orange bitters and a whole unbroken egg yolk in the centre and a layer of whipped egg white on the top; a unique take on a couple of classics.
There are hundreds of variations on the Negroni cocktail and part of the fun is the tasting and experimenting!
So what exactly is Vermouth? Although very well known by name and popularised by James Bond not many people are aware of what Vermouth actually is.
Traditionally it is a fortified and aromatized wine, flavoured with herbs and spices and spiked with brandy. So yes a Negroni does pack a punch! There are two main varieties of Vermouth, the dry white type from France and the sweet red from Italy, known as Rosso. Negroni’s typically favour the sweet red, there is also a paler and sweeter Vermouth called Bianco.
Like gin there are a large number of different types of Vermouth. As the popularity of unique cocktails is increasing, so are the number of Vermouths. If you are looking to expand your knowledge then head over to Cocktail Kitchen in JLT. They have a large range of different brands and types and an excellent knowledge of cocktails.
Various cocktails bars
If you are looking to try a Negroni cocktail in Dubai then here are Keep Dining’s suggestions. Of course the aptly named Cocktail Kitchen is the perfect place to go. The bartenders really know their stuff and are happy to have a chat and make some recommendations for you. Across the way is Nola, I have spent an evening drinking their take on a Negroni cocktail. I have to say they are tasty, although very much on the strong side! If you are looking for a seriously upmarket cocktail experience then Little Black Door, in the Conrad Hotel, is the place for you; understated and unpretentious this cocktail bar is a welcome addition to the Dubai cocktail bar scene. Their Negroni comes with a noteworthy Mexican flair! Last (and definitely not least) is Hakkasan located in the Emirates Towers Hotel. They offer a Negroni with an Asian twist, a smoked cocktail with Japanese plum sake and Japanese whisky. Unique and intriguing.
The Negroni is a fascinating drink with an interesting past; firmly placed in the cocktail history books this classic cocktail is worthy of attention!