Ben Bewley-Pope: Why I Love A Negroni


Why I Love A Negroni

Ben Bewley-Pope, Fishers Gin Distiller

When it comes to a short Gin-based cocktail, there is only one drink I crave. 

It's straightforward, sophisticated, glamorous, but also a little tacky – due to its vibrant colour. It’s a complex delight of bitter and sweet and all too easy to drink too many of…The Negroni

In recent years this short drink has soared in popularity, much to the annoyance to those who have always liked one. It isn’t unusual to see the Negroni being endorsed by celebrities in movies or on social media and is now an (almost) common sight on any good cocktail list.

Negroni

The Negroni is as Italian as Guinness is Irish. Its beginnings, as with most cocktails, comes from a divergent twist on something already known. Count Camillo Negroni, stopping by Cafe Casoni in Florence in 1919, returning to his native Italy from America, asked bartender Fosco Scarselli for an Americano (Vermouth, Campari and soda water) but requested something more substantial and asked for the soda water be swapped for Gin. The bartender obliged, switched the lemon, that is traditional in an Americano, for orange, to signify this being a different drink, and the Negroni was born. 

The taste is herby, a bit rooty; think liquorice. There are also deep dark fruit flavours all wrapped together in a bitter-sweetness leaving the mouth a little dry. The choice of Gin used is key to the balance and satisfaction of a Negroni, a bold Gin with a strong classic flavour profile is needed; Fishers Fifty. The additional Juniper and foraged coastal botanicals in Fifty's roster results in an intensified, savoury, herbaceous Gin, perfect for a Negroni.

The Negroni is a perfect drink for a cocktail rookie; it's hard to make a bad one. Finesse and refinement comes with practice, but from the start it's difficult to be less than 80% there.

NegroniJust three ingredients in equal measures: Gin, Vermouth and Campari, stirred over ice in the same glass. A third, a third, a third; that’s the standard recipe to remember for a perfectly standup Negroni. But…a little extra Gin lends more botanicals and alcohol; stirred with ice, it further tempers the sweetness of the Vermouth, soothes the edges of the Campari and makes the cocktail even brighter. The trick is to make sure you have enough ice. The more you use, the less it will dilute the drink. If you are at home, the equal part nature of the drink means you can use anything from an egg cup to a shot glass and you can forgo the mixing and straining, simply pour all three components into a glass, add ice and stir it around with your finger for a bit! 80% there…delicious.

To tailor the recipe to my pallet, I like to adjust the ratios slightly. A little more Gin and Vermouth eating into the strict 3/3/3 rule.

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My Fishers Fifty Negroni

Sturdy bottomed glass tumbler (from the freezer)

35ml Gin

35ml Vermouth

25ml Bitters

Lots of ice

Stirred with vigour

Fresh peel of orange to garnish

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Suffolk Negroni Collection

Suffolk Negroni Collection - Fishers X Agora

We've teamed up with Suffolk Vermouth maker, Agora, to present the Suffolk Negroni Collection. Comprised of 1 x 50cl Fishers Fifty, 1 x 50cl Agora Rosso Vermouth, 1 x 50cl Agora Blood Orange Bitter and completed with a packet of dehydrated orange for garnish. This is the ultimate addition to any cocktail party, festive or otherwise.

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Pre-batch Negroni

A footnote; the beauty of Negroni is the ability to pre-batch, so once you've found your favourite recipe, fetch a Fishers One Litre Fishnet Water Bottle, fill with this beautiful Italian cocktail, and store in the fridge ready for your next soirée! 

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