You have to wonder, surveying London’s elegant bar scene, how did we manage before classic cocktails came back into fashion? What did we drink at pick-me-up o’clock? How did we channel Roger Sterling and/or Dorothy Parker? In particular, was there civilised life before negronis?
The negroni is a proper drink, by which we mean that it is made of strong drink mixed with more strong drink. One part premium gin, one part Campari, one part sweet red vermouth. Plus its de rigueur dot-dash of orange peel – it just doesn’t work without one.
After a long day at the workplace, nothing reinvigorates you quite as classily. The recipe sounds a doddle, as though you can’t go wrong, but getting it delicious, rather than merely strong, at home, isn’t as easy as all that. We asked Cookie, charming bartender at Viajante Bar in Bethnal Green, to talk us through his perfect, elegant negroni.
‘It’s bitter, herby, strong,’ says Cookie. ‘Not a beginner’s drink,’ It’s delicious, a cocktail to savour and sip at leisure. We’d call it the perfect sharpener.