Drinks maestro Tony Conigliaro launches Classico Negroni, a smoother, pre-mixed, aged version of this classic cocktail in a bottle
Bartender and cocktail guru Tony Conigliaro has created a subtle new take on the resurgent negroni cocktail. His version does not stray from the traditional blend of London dry gin, red Italian vermouth and a bitter – the difference comes from the way it’s treated before being served.
Tony Conigliaro’s Classico Negroni is pre-mixed, and then cooked sous-vide at a low temperature for several hours before being bottled. The idea is to mimic the ageing process of a long-bottled cocktail.
The phenomenon of the aged negroni first surfaced a few years ago. The drink is so simple to make that it was probably inevitable bartenders would yearn to find some way to finesse it, putting their own stamp on the drink. Many did so by making their own vermouths, flavouring them with a personally chosen selection of barks, peels and herbs. Then Conigliaro began putting Manhattan cocktails in glass bottles, and bar manager Jeffrey Morgethaler had the idea of making barrel-aged negroni, and soon a whole "aged cocktail" revolution was underway.
The drinks magazine Imbibe once carefully tested a whole range of negronis, aged in different vessels which ranged from glass demijohns, to stainless steel containers, to Slovenian oak casks, tasting them at different times over a period of 50 days
Conigliaro first began serving his slow-cooked, bottle-aged negroni at Bar Termini in Soho. At the bar, you can also order three variations on the theme: Rosato, which is infused with rose petals; Superiore which is flavoured with pink peppercorns and Robusto, which undergoes a longer period of sous-vide cooking.
The taste of the Tony Conigliaro Classico Negroni is smoother and more mellow than that of a negroni that you might just have mixed fresh, via the simple manoeuvre of tipping equal parts of gin, red vermouth and a bitter into an ice-filled tumbler and stirring.
If you’re not in Soho to nip down to Bar Termini to try it there, then it’s now available to buy online and try at home. Conigliaro recommends storing it in the freezer, and serving it without ice “at any time of day or evening”, though I’d say best not for breakfast.
Tony Conigliaro’s Classico Negroni (70cl bottle/18.9 per cent ABV) is available now at The Drink Shop and Amathus Stores (RRP £36.95) or by the glass at Bar Termini, Soho
Source: The Telegraph Photos: telegraph.co.uk