The Negroni is definitely having a moment. Locally, the classic Italian aperitif has been dominating cocktail lists, in small part thanks to Riviera’s master bartender Stephen Flood. Mr. Flood won the 2016 negroni competition here in Ottawa and has crafted a special list of distinctive variations on the classic cocktail for the menu at Riviera.
I’ve had the pleasure of sampling the better part of Mr. Flood’s Negroni menu and was inspired to try my hand at coming up with my own concoction at home.
The classic Negroni is made with equal parts gin, red vermouth and campari in a rocks glass over ice.
For this Montenegroni, I swapped out campari for Aperol and replaced the red vermouth with Amaro Montenegro. In effect, swapping out the red vermouth for Amaro Montenegro cuts down on sweetness and ups the herbaceous bitterness. I’ve also replaced the traditional orange peel with grapefruit.
Amaro Montenegro is a traditional amaro distilled in Bologna, Italy. It’s made from 40 different herbs, including vanilla and orange peel.
As you can see, I’ve elected to serve this Montenegroni in a coupe glass without ice. To prevent the drink from becoming too boozy or tepid, be sure to chill the glass first and shake with plenty of ice for at least 30 seconds. If you want more of an easy sipper, I’d definitely recommend serving on the rocks – as per the norm.
This cocktail is the perfect pre-dinner drink for the holidays. The grapefruit peel lends a refreshing citrus scent and the bitterness of this aperitif works to stimulate your appetite, which you’re going to need before that big turkey feast.
A playful twist on the classic Italian aperitif: the Negroni. This recipe relies on the sweetness of Aperol in place of sweet vermouth and yields a bittersweet, boozy concoction.
- 1 oz Tanquerey gin
- 1 oz Amaro Montenegro
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 twist grapefruit peel for garnish
Add gin, Montenegro and Aperol to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.