“In a nutshell,” says Mr Brian Silva, bar manager at Balthazar in Covent Garden, “the perfect negroni is a wonderful balance of bitterness and sweetness. For me, that’s it. Plus, it packs a nice kick.”
Origin stories, possibly apocryphal, credit a Count Negroni of Florence with lending his name to the drink in 1919, having developed a taste for strong spirits while working as a rodeo cowboy in the US (yes, you read that sentence correctly). What is certain is that the negroni is both a sublime cocktail and extremely simple to prepare – so there’s really no reason not to have it mastered. And, while it’s traditionally sipped in the warmer months, there’s absolutely no shame in honing your negroni-mixing powers over winter.