As we all continue to navigate a global pandemic, it’s safe to say we deserve a drink. Plus, England has been hit with a last-minute heatwave in mid-September, so there’s no better time to sip on some cocktails from the comfort of your own home.
One of our favourite tipple’s of choice is the negroni, a simple, understated concoction that’s easy to make yourself, but full of flavour. Sweet and refreshing with bitter notes, it’s the ideal drink for when its hot too.
The 14 September marks the beginning of Negroni Week, an annual event first launched in 2013 by UK drinks magazine, Imbibe. It celebrates the famous cocktail while raising money for charity. Collectively, businesses who have participated in Negroni Week have raised over $3m for charitable causes since the event began.
In previous years, bars and restaurants hosted dedicated events to inspire customers to enjoy a negroni, or three, but due to Covid-19, it’s become a digital-only event, and fans are encouraged to celebrate at home.
It’s also raising funds for the hospitality industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
If you’re new to the art of mixology and fancy getting in on the negroni action, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to mastering the perfectly made negroni in your own kitchen, with help from the experts.
Up ahead, we’ve got the step-by-step guide to mixing your own and the essential tools you need.
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David Inrak, a mixologist at the Cocktail Service, a mobile bar specialist and cocktail consultancy, explains that the cocktail is an easy but well-loved concoction to try your hand at.
“The negroni is one of the greatest examples of playing it simple but getting incredibly complex results. The flavour profile is one that is sweet and refreshing but with a robust bitter undertone,” he says.
He recommends drinking it in a short tumbler with 25ml of gin, 35ml of Campari and 25ml of sweet vermouth, poured over ice and garnished with a dehydrated orange wheel.
Choosing the right gin can make or break a negroni and Inkrak cites the Tanqueray’s London dry gin (Waitrose, £16) as a go-to for mixologists.
With a blend of four botanicals, juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice, it’s vegan too and a staple for any gin-based cocktail that’s well worth stocking up on.
He also suggests Gin Mare (Master of Malt, £34.69) that offers a more Mediterranean flavour thanks to its ingredients: “Influenced by its seaside locale, its notes include rosemary, olives, citrus, thyme and basil making it the perfect counterpart to bitter Campari.”
For the sweet vermouth, Inrak’s favourite accompaniment is the Asterley Bros estate sweet vermouth (Aterley Bros, £24.95).
“Made by infusing 31 botanicals with English pinot noir, it’s made in the Italian ‘rosso’ style, and the notes of orange, cacao, rosemary and wormwood combine to form a full-bodied vermouth,” he says.
Read our review of the best vermouths for more inspiration for your negroni or for sipping straight.
Investing in a cocktail shaker is a smart move as aside from just making a stylish addition to your kitchen, they will also ensure all your ingredients are properly combined, to give your drink of choice a smooth, even finish.
In our guide to the best, we loved this KitchenCraft cocktail shaker (John Lewis and Partners, £22).
Made from hardy stainless steel, the ridged exterior makes it easy to hold on to, even when doing your best bartender impression.
There’s an internal strainer so no need for additional kit and a recipe leaflet is included to get you started on the classics.
Once mixed, pour, serve, sip and enjoy in a decadent glass such as this Clare V. for Anthropologie striped glass tumbler (Anthropologie, £12).
Made from hand-blown, recycled glass, it’s inspired by the artwork of Pablo Picasso, so it’s a bit bold and unusual.
A pair would also make the perfect house warming gift as their an artistic addition to any kitchen cabinet.
For a fun, colourful way to enjoy your new-found mixology skills, pick up these sprinkles tumblers set of four (Habitat, £32) too.
They’re ideal for your next socially distanced dinner party in the garden.
For more glassware inspiration, check out of review of the best tumblers.
Should you need a little guidance for your first few attempts or are looking for renewed inspiration, pick up a cocktail recipe book to walk you through mixology step-by-step.
In our review of the best, we loved A mixologist’s guide to making cocktails by Jordan Spence (Amazon, £26.33) that has something for everyone, whether you’re a vodka, gin, brandy, rum, whisky, tequila, champagne or liqueur enthusiast.
We were impressed with the no-nonsense guide to each recipe with straightforward diagrams detailing precise component and proportions for each drink.
Each chapter is based on a different spirit, with a section at the back dedicated to shots.
If you are short of time, need to pack light for a dinner party, or simply can’t be bothered to mix it all yourself, enjoy the art of a pre-mixed cocktail.
This Negroni (Myatt’s Fields Cocktails, £15) simply needs to be poured over ice with a slice of orange before it is ready to be sipped.
Fruity and full-bodied, it tastes like sunshine in a glass, making it the perfect way to hang onto the warm summer months.
In our review of the best letterbox cocktails, we also discovered Send a Negroni (£10, Send a Negroni), which would make the perfect gift to a friend for a birthday present.
Available in different versions, the original features Porter’s modern classic gin, bitters and Baldoria Rosso vermouth, while the tropical style uses Porter’s tropical old Tom. Both come housed in a plastic sachet within a slim letterbox-friendly cardboard box – it’s all 100 per cent recyclable.
You can include a message to your pal and the £10 price includes delivery.
For more on mixology, read our guide to the best cocktail shakers
10 best cocktail recipe books for creating tantalizing tinctures
9 best letterbox cocktails for your own happy hour at home
8 best cocktail shakers to inspire your inner mixologist
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