Negronis are a classic cocktail made with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, with their signature red color coming from Campari, which is a bitter aperitif. The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore is a cocktail book dedicated to this very recognizable drink – and there is a lot more to it than the three simple ingredients that are needed to make a basic one. This book begins with a history of this cocktail, which takes the reader back to Italy, where bitter liqueurs are popular. The story goes that a Count Campari made an Americano – a combination of bitter liqueur, sweet vermouth and club soda – and replaced the soda with gin sometime around the 1920s. The cocktail gradually gained traction and enjoyed a huge boost in popularity, though it never really went out of style, as the craft cocktail movement made it more popular than ever before.
Past the history of the drink, the book dives into recipes. The most classic Negroni might be based on equal parts of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, but that isn’t the only way to make one. And because the cocktail is so simple, it is ripe for variations. In addition to the cocktails, there are also recipes for “edible Negronis” (a.k.a. food) in this book, with unusual desserts like Negroni Ice Cream and Negroni Caramel Corn that can be served with cocktails or without them. The book is packed with beautiful photos that help to visually carry you through the book.
While it might seem difficult to dedicate a book to a single cocktail, consider how many single-subject cookbooks there are. There really are an endless number of ways to enjoy a Negroni when you consider that brands, ratios, techniques and ingredients can all be changed as you construct your drinks.