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Cafe sign, opposite Duomo, Naples

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Red Hot Cocktails

Eva Green and Campari

Campari’s latest advertising campaign with the very lovely Eva Green, in a series of top bright red designer gowns by Vivienne Westwood, Versace, Alaia and Christian Louboutin, telling the story of 12 different Campari cocktails.

Negroni?  Americano? Boulevardier?  What’s your poison?

Italian Cocktail of the Week: NEG-RON-I

I blogged last week about the Italian love of a good aperitif.  Subsequently we had friends over from the UK to visit, both of whom are partial to a good cocktail.  Amongst the many drunk, the classic Negroni stood out.  It’s quick and easy to make, packs a real punch and is quintessentially Italian.  It’s so famous that there is a Negroni festival in Portland, Oregon.

The Negroni as served is a deep ruby-orange.  It’s potent, fragrant, herby, sweet and bitter.  On paper it sounds disgusting but, mixed properly and with a slice of orange added, it works perfectly.  Apparently, it is named in honour of a Count Negroni who, in Florence in 1919, was fed up with his insipid Americano, and asked for gin to be added instead of soda.  A stroke of genius.  The Negroni is the perfect pre-dinner drink but be sure to have just the one on an empty stomach.

The classic recipe is simplicity itself:

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The Art of the Italian Cocktail

Drink on the Beach

There’s something very Italian about drinking a pre-dinner cocktail or aperitif whilst watching la passagiata.

Imagine a lovely evening relaxing in the evening sun on the terrace of a local corner bar.  The metallic chairs scrape as you pull them towards your table.  The menu is proffered, you order and, after a short pause, the efficient waiter brings you your drink of choice with a flourish accompanied by a small selection of nibbles (sfizi).  You sit back and relax, slowly sipping your drink and watch the world go by.

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