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The Negroni. It’s that short, stocky drink that you see and hear a lot in the early days of your cocktail consumption. It’s almost certainly one of the first you’ll try - and you probably won’t like it. “Ah. Just you wait until your palette changes,” exclaims the more experienced patron sat beside you. Struggling to comprehend how a drink so bitter can be so well-loved, you convince yourself that it’s one of those things people just say they like, believing that it somehow makes them better than those who don’t enjoy it. Much the same way that there’s no way anyone can actually enjoy running up hills at 5am. You won’t try one again for a while, sticking to much more user-friendly sours.

However, over time, your palette will change. You won’t be aware of it until it’s already happening. One day, you’ll be at a bar, probably a few beers deep by this point, and your drinking partner will decide it’s that time of night, and order a Negroni. Unprepared and caught slightly off-guard, you panic and blurt out “same”. If you’re like me, your social anxiety won’t allow you to get up and approach the bar to change your order. Your drinks will arrive, and you’ll look upon a short, heavy-bottomed glass containing an over-sized, crystal-clear block of ice. A twist of an orange peel wraps its way around the ice and pokes over the rim of the frosty glass. The words of your old friend ring around your head as you take your first sip - your palette has changed - and you find that this drink is indeed palatable.

Well let me tell you, it’s a slippery slope from there. Boulevardiers, White Negroni’s, Manhattans and Rob Roy’s are what you find up against now. Within weeks, you’ve got an open bottle of sweet vermouth knocking around at home (put it in the fridge), and it isn’t long until you’re sat at a bar with a friend, and they turn their nose up as you order yourself a Negroni. “Just you wait…”, you say as you realise you’ve come full circle now.

There will come a day when you take your spot at a bar, a long week of work behind you, and nothing but an ice-cold, evenly-balanced, perfectly-diluted Negroni will make all your stress melt away.

30ml - Haymans London Dry Gin

30ml - Campari

30ml - Carpano Antica Formula

Stir all the ingredients and serve in a rocks glass.

Garnish with an orange twist.

KASBAHco: Middle Ground



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