The Negroni and Blue Cheese Are Currently Dating
by Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz
received an urgent e-mail from a reader named Karina.
was checking out your blog for a food pairing. I'm looking for types of food
that would go well with a Negroni. Do you have any suggestions? We pick out a
new cocktail each summer for our week at the Jersey Shore and Negroni is the
winner this year (leaving in 1 week-yay)."
Negroni is an acquired taste. You either love the bittersweet bliss of Campari
or despise it if the number of taste buds on your tongue are off the charts.
Regardless of where you lie in the spectrum of love/hate, the Negroni has
withstood the test of time and has reemerged as one of the must-have
before-dinner cocktails in this new millennium (can we still say "new
millennium"?). Historically ascribed to Count Camillo Negroni, who in 1919
Florence asked a bartender to exchange the club soda in his Americano for gin,
the Negroni, when it comes to pairing with party food, can be a difficult
child. After all, Campari always asserts itself in sometimes the smallest
amounts. Here is our advice, dear Karina.
always make our Negronis 1:1:1, sometimes on the rocks, sometimes up, sometimes
with soda, sometimes with an orange twist as garnish. The one thing that holds
true for all versions is that the flavor is unmistakable. You know when you're
sipping a Negroni. Because the flavor is so pronounced, you need food that will
stand up to the strength of its flavors. Anything salty is a good place to
start. Salumi, such as prosciutto or salami, or bacon hors d'oeuvres such as
bacon-wrapped dates, would work nicely. If not, we recommend blue cheese on the
thinnest wafer-like cracker. A Piedmont blue cheese, with hints of nutty
sweetness to counteract its sharp, salty blueness, works ideally.
also like making french fries, but french fries only work with a Negroni if you
dip them in something salty. We make a mayonnaise with salt and dried tiny fish
that we find in the local Asian market. This is a bit esoteric, but can steer
you in another direction if you like salty fish such as sardines and anchovies,
especially used as a flavor enhancers. You can mix mayo with some anchovy paste
to get the same effect. Tomato and pepper products such as ketchup and sriracha
don't enhance the Negroni that much unless you add, say, capers to the mix.
hope this helps. We're always experimenting with the Negroni, but really love
the blue cheese with it. You can try other salty cheeses such as hunks of
Romano or Parmesan, or make a cheese plate. It sounds traditional, but
sometimes the less outré works best."
(adapted by Cocktail Buzz)
1 oz. Gin (we like the light, citrusy notes in New Amsterdam)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (try Carpano Antica)
1 oz. Campari
Stir in ice for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled glass (or a
rocks-filled glass, if you prefer). Add garnish.
read more about the Negroni and more fine cocktails and food pairings, visit Steve and Paul at CocktailBuzz.com
photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz