Saturday, September 1, 2012

Weekend Cooking...Balance is Everything!

I think someone drank part of my drink...
Has it been a long week?
Do you need to relax, put your feet up, maybe indulge in a tasty adult beverage.
Well, I have one to suggest to you today.
I am always thinking that I should have a drink. You know, you go someplace, a bar or restaurant and they ask what you would like and I think I should have a clever, interesting drink to order.
A diet Coke really does not cut it.
So in my search, I took the Bro's suggestion to try a drink he likes, the Negroni.
Happily, he had the ingredients and whipped one up for me to taste.

What is the history of this classic drink? Well, according to my friends at Wikipedia..."While the drink's origins are unknown, the most widely reported account is that it was invented in Florence, Italy in 1919, at Caffè Casoni, ex Caffè Giacosa, now called Caffè Cavalli. Count Camillo Negroni invented it by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink."

Did I mention I am going to Florence in October?
Yes, I am. And when I am there I will have a Negroni.
Maybe two.
But not at the same time. 

It is a simple recipe, one the worse bartender can't screw up.
Gosh, even I could make one! Introducing, the Negroni..

  • one ounce gin,
  • one ounce Italian sweet vermouth
  • one ounce Campari bitters
  • orange slice or twist for garnish

Now you have two choices. You can pour all the ingredients in a highball glass with ice, stir and serve. the Bro made it, pour the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass, and serve it 'straight up', garnished with an orange slice.

If you don't like gin, you can replace it with tequila and make a Agavoni...
  • 3/4 ounce blanco or silver tequila
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Twist of grapefruit peel, for garnish about try it with bourbon and make a Boulevardier. Doesn't that sound interesting. The bartender will be looking that one up and good luck in finding it. So you can give him the recipe for the Boulevardier...
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • Twist of lemon peel, for garnish

What I love about that drink, according to the Washington Post where I read about it, was that it published in a book called "Barflies and Cocktails,"  written by Harry McElhone in 1927.

The Negroni is usually served as an aperitif. It is not a sweet drink, not at all, especially since the Campari is rather bitter...which is maybe why it is called a bitter! But the vermouth, which is sweet or semi-sweet, helps balance that out. At least in part. Still, it seems to be a drink that people tend to either love...or hate.

You have to admit, it is a lovely color...and sounds classy when you order it! "Hmmm...I'll have a Negroni please!"

"One of the earliest reports of the drink came from Orson Welles in correspondence with the Coshocton Tribune while working in Rome on Cagliostro in 1947, where he described a new drink called the Negroni, "The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.""

And drinking should be all about the balance.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Fun! My husband and I went to Venice for Carnaval this past February, and the big drink there is called the Spritz, and it also uses bitters. It's nice because it's quite light and not too bitter--combining sparkling white wine, mineral water, and Aperol (a different bitter). I recommend trying it if you get a chance, and have a fabulous trip. Florence is amazing!

    1. The Italians seem to like their bitters...and sparkling wines!

  2. Woohoo. Fantastic! How about linking it in to Food on Friday: Cocktails and Mocktails? Have a great week!

  3. It is a lovely color. I'm trying to learn about beer since my guys have opened a craft beer store so that's become my drink of choice lately.

    1. A craft beer store? Ok, you live exactly where? Lol

  4. It's beautiful. Love that Wells quote! I wonder what it'd be called made with vodka.

    1. Made with vodka..and a splash of soda, on the rocks, it is called a Napoli

  5. A great way to kick off the long Labor Day weekend! Thanks for sharing!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

  6. Pretty! Looks like a wonderful celebratory drink :).

  7. Nice post! I love the Orson Welles quote! Have fun on your trip!

  8. Now that is a cocktail! Enjoy your trip to Italy.

  9. Thank you for sharing this drink! We will be going to Florence next June and I will plan to try this drink then and there.

    Here's my Weekend Cooking post.I hope you will stop by!

  10. Wow, and everything will taste even better when you have it in Florence!

  11. I vote for the Boulevardier variety....comes very close to my favorite -- the Manhanttan.

  12. I didn't know you were going to Florence! (I dropped off the blogosphere for the most part of a year or so.) So exciting!

    I find I've developed a taste for mixed drinks in the past few years. Didn't used to be able to stand them. Of course, the taste for them hasn't been followed by a tolerance for them, so I have to be careful since being tipsy has never appealed to me. Your drink looks lovely, and will be even prettier in FLORENCE!!! :)

    1. pretty much one drink and I fall

  13. Thanks for linking this in to Food on Friday. Have a great week.

  14. I think I'll have to try all three versions. Just for the sake of being thorough. You know. ;P

  15. I've never had a Negroni, but it looks delicious. And all sorts of end-of-summer refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

  16. The Negroni is popular in my house because it is my sister's favorite cocktail. (Wait a minute -- you have a dog like my sister's and drink my sister's cocktail -- this is getting mysterious.) But gin and I don't get along any more, which is a crying shame, so I have had to forgo the pleasure. I like the idea of the tequila version. I think I'll try that this evening.

  17. Oh yum, cocktails :D I've never heard of the Negroni or its brethren before, but looking at the ingredients *squints at liquors on top of my bookcase* I may have to make this one soon.

    Florence in October sounds fun! I'm sure the weather will still be mellow :) Will you also visit Siena? And Ferrara, where Lucrezia de Borgia married for the third and last time?

  18. I'm not a huge fan of gin, so I'll try the Boulevardier. We're big bourbon drinkers in this house. Love my whiskey sours!. :) Cheers!


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