The Gregorio – A Refreshing Aperitif!

12th March, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Cocktails

Everyone should have an eponymous cocktail. Here’s mine. It started life as a modification of the Americano/Negroni. I loved the idea of Campari and vermouth, but the Negroni’s gin component didn’t delight. The Americano’s addition of a splash of soda to the Campari-Vermouth mixture is a nice touch, but the result is just a bit too light to my tastes, and with nothing to stand up to the bitters, it winds up not quite as refreshing as its ingredients seem to promise.

As a lover of Manhattans, the idea of adding Bourbon or Rye seemd a natural way to bring this one more in line with my tastes. A sqeeze of orange adds a deliciously fruity element, and serves to lighten things up without adding bubbles. It’s a lovely whistle whetter, a wonderful aperitif, and is absolutely stellar during summer’s outdoor parties. You really should give it a try. Alla salute!

In a shaker with plenty of ice, stir, do not shake, until well chilled:

  • 2oz Campari
  • 2oz Sweet vermouth
  • 1oz Rye
  • Squeeze of orange – about 1oz

Serve in a cocktail glass with a slice of orange or a twist of lemon peel. As a lighter variation, serve over ice in a rocks glass, with a splash of Pellegrino and an orange garnish.

Stirring, not shaking, is important. Cocktails like this one suffer from too much agitation. As with a good Manhattan or Martini, the idea is to combine the elements thoroughly, without introducing too much air, or bruising the ice. The result is a creamy, delicious drink, well worth the slight effort, and the absence of performance art keeps things elegant and understated.

The Americano was first created in the 1860s as the Milano-Torino for two of its ingredients – Campari from Milan and Cinzano from Turin. A splash of soda finishes it.

The Negroni is alleged to have been created first in 1919 as essentially an Americano with gin added. It’s not bad, but the gin seems out of place to my tastes.

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