A drink by any other name…

I’ve got campari on the brain.  For those of you not familiar with this Italian liqueur, it’s glow-tastically red, quite bitter, and packs a punch.  It’s quite nice with soda, lots of ice, and maybe a maraschino cherry.

But my favourite campari drink, hands down, is the negroni (nuh-gr-awe-nee).  For one thing, it sounds a lot like my name, and when you say it fast (as in, “I’d like a negroni, please,”) it totally sounds like I just ordered myself from the bartender.  A negroni is equal parts campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.  Put it on ice and add an orange twist, and you have a lovely aperitif.  The key is for lots of ice, because it’s definitely not a lightweight drink.  The ice helps to mellow it out, and keep it crisp and cold. 

It’s hard to find in this city.  I’ve gotten some strange looks from waitstaff, and a lot of bars don’t have campari or sweet vermouth.  But you can get it at The Cascade Room, Subeez, and Wasubeez.  If you get it at (Wa)subeez, ask for it in a highball with ice.  For some strange reason they do it as a martini, which is…well, it’s just wrong.


7 responses to “A drink by any other name…

  1. i was just at the cascade recently (Great polenta fries) and was impressed with their selection of martinis and cocktails. I’ll have to try the Negroni sometime.

  2. thewelltemperedchocolatier

    The Cascade Room’s polenta fries were voted by Vancouver Magazine as one of the “101 Things to Taste Before You Die”. Those are some pretty serious polenta fries!

  3. a lot of bars serve their negroni’s up–ie. “as a martini.” the reason being that many bar books instruct its creation as such. the reason being that seasoned bartenders are the authors of these books. it’s a far superior drink when served up, anyway, numbnuts. and who made you the fucking authority on negronis?

  4. Doris – The ‘martini’ and in fact, most ‘cocktails’ are a uniquely American invention. The shape of the stemware used for ‘cocktails’ – the conical bowl on a stem – is most used for this type of drink, because it has become convenient to do so … cocktail bars now have them in abundance. Originally, these glasses were intended for champagnes…

    Generally, highball glasses (the tall and slender tubes) are used for the combination of 1 alcholic, and one non-alcoholic beverage; but again, this is an American convention – order a high ball even in the UK, and you’ll get puzzled looks – there it is called a ‘long drink’. Take for instance the (and the name is a giveaway) Americano: 1 shot glass of campari, 1 scoop of crushed ice, and top up with orange juice; if so desired, add a dash of angostura.

    Of course, no self-respecting Italian – or any European for that matter – would ever drink their Campari any other way than neat over (a few) ice cubes, or, on a very hot day: with a splash of sparkling mineral water.

    Since you, Doris, are only partially ‘right’, or you’re both ‘right’ – why not refrain from flaming? This is a food blog, for Pete’s sake. Discuss the issue respectfully, offer an opinion, or just leave.

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