One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to learn to make a few key cocktails that I can whip up when people come over. My goal was to learn a few solid before dinner drinks, or aperitivo in Italian. These drinks tend to be on the bitter side and not very alcoholic to rev the appetite and prepare your taste for the flavors of dinner.
I decided to make a twist on the classic Negroni to serve for my first aperitivo gatherings in my new apartment. Here's how...
What you need: Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, orange peel, and sparkling wine (optional)
Pour equal parts of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth into a short old fashioned glass. I used 1 ounce of each, which yielded the perfect sized cocktail for before dinner. Stir to combine.
Peel a strip of orange rind, twist over the drink to release aromatic oils. I like to rub the peel around the rim of the glass as well to make the orange flavor really stand out (don't forget to wash your orange well before peeling it though!). Add ice, and stir until well combined.
If you like, you can top off the drink with a few ounces of prosecco or sparkling wine- I love how this adds nuanced flavors and a bit of sparkle to the drink! You can also use Aperol instead of Campari to take the bitterness down a notch, and make it a touch more sweet.
This drink would be the perfect way to start a Valentine's Day dinner with your significant other, family, friends, or even by yourself :) Just add a few heart shaped ice cubes to bring the loveliness of this drink over-the-top!