The Negroni dates to 1919, when Italian count Camillo Negroni instructed the bartender at Florence’s Caffè Casoni to embolden his Americano. The bartender promptly substituted the soda water with a splash of gin. Thus the Negroni.
Bartenders have different takes on the Negroni, but the classic recipe involves equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Skilled bartender Damian Windsor says the key to a killer Negroni comes down to your choice of sweet vermouth and gin.
At The Roger Room, Windsor makes his Negronis with Dolin sweet vermouth since “It has some body. It’s not thin and watery, and it’s not super thick and textural.” He prefers Plymouth Gin, saying, “It’s an old style gin so it’s a little sweeter. Plus it’s a little more aromatic.” Windsor’s well-balanced Negroni has a sweet body and a bitter Campari finish.
To recreate Windsor’s Negroni, pour an ounce each of Campari, Dolin sweet vermouth and Plymouth Gin into a glass full of ice. Stir and strain into a coupe, if you have one, and garnish with a twist of lemon. According to Windsor, “It should get better as it warms up.”
Other tips: “You can’t just have any bottle that’s sitting on the shelf.” Your Campari shouldn’t be older than three months. Sweet vermouth should be no older than two weeks. After all, “It’s still a wine product, so it oxidizes quickly.”
3 other L.A. places that feature the Negroni:
8764 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, 310 432 2000
Comme Ca [CLOSED]
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, 323 782 1104
312 Wilshire Boulevard , Santa Monica, 310 451 7482