The history of cocktails can sometimes be as fascinating as the drink itself. The Negroni originated in Florence, Italy around 1919 when one Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender to strengthen his usual Americano (Campari, vermouth and club soda) by switching out the soda for gin (hard day at the office). The bartender added an orange slice and the Negroni was born. There are several variations on this drink, one which I found in The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. Ciao Bella is a Negroni with grapefruit juice added. Like all good apéritifs, it has a little twang at the end, but the grapefruit seems to balance it all out. We are always trying to achieve balance, right?
On a side note, Gina and I realized last week that we have been working on this blog together for one year. Raise a glass with us in celebration of our first anniversary. As always, thanks for reading. (Cathy)
1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce grapefruit juice
Grapefruit zest, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients and shake until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a slice of grapefruit zest. (Serves 1)