One of the best parts of my job is getting an insight into other people’s skills, talents and ambition. Whether we’re delivering food to a film set, fashion show or photo shoot, it’s fascinating to see how other industries work.
Yet despite having the good fortune to rub shoulders with people from all sorts of professions, I find one of the most fascinating to watch is on my side of the fence, in the food and drinks trade: bartenders.
Watching a professional bartender or mixologist at work is truly compelling. Those at the top of their trade come with an encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails, creating their own innovations and reimagining the classics at the drop of a hat.
A brilliant bartender has an instinctive understanding of blending liquor and flavour and can respond with flair to requests from their customers.
Rather like Fosco Scarselli, an Italian bartender who mixed the first Negroni when asked by Count Camillo Negroni to make a stronger version of his favourite cocktail, the Americano.
Replacing the soda water with gin, Scarselli also added an orange garnish rather than the lemon normally served with the Americano – and thus the Negroni was born.
It’s a cocktail that has stood the test of time – one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, one part Campari, it’s one of the best-loved pre-dinner aperitifs.
If you’re not going out this weekend, turn your hand to bartending at home by mixing up this twist on the classic Negroni which replaces gin with Prosecco.
Negroni Sbagliato Cocktail
Fill a tumbler with ice cubes, and add Campari, vermouth and Prosecco, in that order.
Give it a stir, and garnish with a slice of orange.