If you’re planning a little alfresco antipasto spread (you know, sliced salami and ham, olives, cheese, pickled peppers, maybe even some Bonfire Bruschetta), this is the cocktail. Nota bene: Negronis are molto forte. If you want a somewhat less smashing version, top the glasses off with some sparkling (or still) water. Or, leave out the gin altogether, and you’ll have another classic Italian aperitivo, the Americano.
Makes 1 1/2 cups (4 cocktails)
1/2 cup gin (or vodka)
1/2 cup Campari
1/2 cup sweet Vermouth (such as Martini Rosso or Cinzano Rosso)
About 16 ounces sparkling water (optional)
- Combine the gin, Campari and vermouth in a bottle or flask with a tight-fitting lid. Store at room temperature.
- Cut the orange crosswise to make two 1/4-inch slices, and cut each slice in half to make four half-moons.
- Fill 4 glasses with ice and pour the Negroni mixture over the ice, leaving room at the top for a splash of sparkling water if you want a less strong drink. Stir.
- Tuck an orange slice into each glass. Cin cin!
- Nuts, popcorn, chips or any salty snack
- Assorted antipasto nibbles
- Bonfire Bruschetta
It’s doubtful there will be leftovers, but if there are, put the negronis in a small pot and reduce the liquid to a syrup. Fill a glass with over cracked ice, and drizzle the syrup on top for an adult snow cone.
Shaken and served “up,” Negronis take on a beautiful peachy color. Bring nice glasses, a cocktail shaker, and a strainer. Stick the glasses in the cooler for a few minutes. Shake the Negronis with ice, one or two at time, strain into the chilled glasses, and serve straight up, garnished with strips of orange zest.