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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

BOOK/A TABLE - The Classic Negroni

I happened to be reading Patricia Highsmith's nail-biter The Talented Mr. Ripley when I saw Netflix had adapted it into an eight-part series entitled Ripley. Starring the extraordinary Andrew Scott, this new version is a glorious, moody vision of Italy shot in stark black and white. 

There's a lot of mystery surrounding our psychopathic, murderous protagonist Tom Ripley, but the real mystery to me is why, as the characters traipse across Italy drinking gin martinis, there is nary a mention of the classic Italian Negroni! Lord knows I drank little else when I was running around Italy myself.

Originally served to Count Camillo Negroni in 1919, the bitter cocktail composed of pure liquor is a ripping refresher that some prefer in the cooler months, but I remember escaping the heat of June with a number of Negronis while lingering in the various osterie of Florence, Venice, Rome... 

Classic Negroni
Adapted from Saveur magazine
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. gin
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Orange slice, for garnish

In a tumbler filled with ice, stir together the Campari, gin, and vermouth. Garnish with the orange slice.

The White Negroni has making an appearance in restaurant bars around town recently too, should you wish to try at home! 

White Negroni
Adapted from

1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce Lillet blanc
1/2 ounce Suze gentian liqueur
Garnish: lemon twist

Add the gin, Lillet blanc and Suze into a mixing glass with ice and stir for 15 to 20 seconds until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Ritual Non-Alcoholic Spirits (a leader in the N/A market) has also come up with what I feel is a highly commendable version of the Negroni, as well as other fantastic booze-free concoctions found here

Ritual Non-Alcoholic Negroni
1 1/2 oz. Ritual Gin Alternative
1 1/2 oz. Ritual Aperitif Alternative
Garnish: orange

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add 1.5oz of Ritual Gin and Aperitif Alternative. Stir the ingredients in the mixing glass for 20-30 seconds until well combined. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

"Tom showered and then Dickie showered, and came out and poured himself a drink, just like the first time, but the atmosphere now was totally changed."
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

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