The Negroni. The classic Italian aperitivo cocktail continues to grow in popularity, and for years it has been the drink of choice of off-duty winemakers and thirsty bartenders. There’s few drinks that can beat it before a meal, and it’s one cocktail you can reliably get in both dive bars and five star hotels.
There are many Negroni stories out there on blogs and sites just like this. Most of them will start by dropping some history about the drink, like that it was created by a certain Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 in Florence; those stories will also reliably tell you that the drink came about when the Count asked for gin in the place of soda in his Americano.
Whether those stories are true or not is for others to decide, because this story is about the best Negroni recipe I’ve found.
Hayden Lambert is the bartender and owner of Melbourne cocktail bar, Above Board, and it’s from him that this recipe comes. We first met back in 2013 when he was working the smallest of small bars, Bar Americano, in Presgrave Place in Melbourne. It was there that Lambert first made me a Negroni, and I’ve been asking him to do so ever since.
Whereas most Negroni recipes will stick to the Negroni’s famous equal parts recipe, but throw in some tech or technique to change things up — maybe even switch in some new ingredients — Lambert simply tweaks the holy proportions of the drink (take a look at the recipe below).
Now, perhaps his recipe isn’t for everyone. Perhaps, you could argue, that if it ain’t an equal parts Negroni then it isn’t a Negroni at all.
But as to what, exactly, makes Lambert’s Negroni better than any other we’ve had? The answer to that question is beyond me. But like all great drinks it’s probably not just down to the tweaks in the recipe. It’s about the person making the drink and the people you’re drinking with.
That’s what makes a drink memorable.
- 35ml Tanqueray Gin
- 25ml Cinzano Rosso
- 20ml Campari
- Stir down ingredients with ice.
- Strain over a good block of ice in an Old Fashioned glass.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
Recipe provided by Hayden Lambert, Above Board, Melbourne.