What Youth Drinks: The Negroni

This drink article was prepared for What Youth, appearing in their book and on their site. The Negroni is a go-to pink drink--enjoy. 

Beyond beer and wine and jungle juice, there are cocktails. Good ones. What makes a good cocktail? It’s bitter and sweet and citrusy and strong and yes, sometimes pink. Like the Negroni.

Orson Welles drank Negronis. He said, “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” We like balance, especially well balanced drinks.

We’ve never drunk drinks because they have clever names or they’re expensive. We like cheap, easy, and easy. But shoot, man: in the winter it gets dark at 5 and we gotta to fill the time somehow. Compared to a can of beer or a bottle of wine, the Negroni take a little more time to make. Like, at least 2 minutes. They should take even longer to drink. Get to it.

The official Negroni is from Italy so you’ll probably find official recipes. We’ve seen incarnations of it—booze + vermouth + bitters—all over the world, so be you, figure out what you like, and try different combos. The only way to find a favorite cocktail is to experiment. But experimenting with alcohol—well, that’s the best experimenting there is.

Shake these with ice:

- Two parts gin

- One part sweet vermouth

- One part Campari. The Campari folks keep the recipe a secret, which we enjoy.

(An added bonus: you can drink these all independently of each other. Value.)

Pour in a glass, any real glass you’ve got. Take a lemon peel, squeeze the hell out of it over the drink, and rub the peel all over the rim. Your cocktail will be citrusy, fragrant, a little bitter but really refreshing. It’s also pink, meaning your friends might make fun of you. But fuck, you’re on it: your drink tastes better and is 13 times stronger than PBR. Show them the light. —Paul Brewer