Stanley Tucci’s Negroni Shook Me

They say that rules are made to be broken, but you must understand the rules before you can effectively break them. There are many rules and many rule breakers in the cocktail, but Stanley Tucci breaks the Negroni rules in such a way that I doubt if I really understood this drink at all. (Oddly enough, I’m a big fan of rules. My rules tend to be different from other people’s rules, but once they’re established, they are enforced .)

In a recent Instagram video that hit Twitter, Mr. Tucci gave us a glimpse into his home, life, and evenings. He makes a Negroni for the phone holder (I assume it’s his wife), but how he does it left me a lot of questions. It makes sense, since Tucci is a man whose very existence makes me ask a lot of questions. (Do I want him to be my father? Do I want him to be my husband? Answers are unclear and confusing!)

Anyway. The video starts normally. He uses a full two ounces of gin, which is a little more than I usually use (but ok), and says you can “use vodka” if you don’t like gin. I ignore it because personal preference is something I respect and I don’t hate his daring idea to make Negroni vodka with a gin float. I also love the way it clinks the glass against the side of the shaker. He is authoritative and domineering, and I trust him.

Then Tucci pulls out a large bottle of my favorite sweet vermouth – Carpano Antica Formula – and my eye twitches because it doesn’t look like he usually keeps it in the fridge, but he’s so confident that I force myself to let go. He continues to speak out against the Martini vermouth and tells us that Campari is “made in Milan” and I am ready to die for him again. Then he shakes the thing up, grinning all the time, forcing silly cocktails like me to go ahead and question him , Stanley Tucci, Mr. Daddy’s Embarrassing Husband. He strains it in the compartment before pouring orange juice – not zest – into a glass, and flirts a little with a happy camera-holder.

What a fucking trip.

The point is that while I have a specific idea of ​​what Negroni is — a mixed drink made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and campari served on a stone — there are many variations on this particular cocktail. I have them and I really like it. Alice Newton likes her gin to be stronger . My friend Devoyka (the genius of cocktails ) builds her own in a glass, throws a large cube in there and mixes it for about 10 seconds right in the lowball. (I recently did mine this way, and it’s amazing how it gets better when you sip it.) If you click on the Negroni tag on this very site, you’ll find all sorts of daring and interesting riffs, but you won’t find the shocked Negroni because that it hasn’t been done yet.

Why? Because Negroni is a completely alcoholic cocktail, and these substances need to be firm and silky, not light and fluffy (which is what you need for cocktails containing juice, syrups and the like). Of course, there are exceptions to these conventions, but is it usually “shaken or stirred?” the question is answered.

When I asked the publicist Tucci to give me some answers about his Negroni, I received (quickly, almost immediately) “No, but thanks for contacting,” which hurt but didn’t surprise. Then I decided to overhear my bartender friends who were quite nice and helpful, which is amazing considering how much I use their knowledge.

While the uncooled vermouth also made Devoika pause, she felt that if anyone could handle the shaken Negroni, it would be Tucci. “My theory? He is Italian. And he can do what he wants, ”she told me in a text message. “It looks like the magic they have. When I was in Italy, they literally broke all the rules regarding coffee and their aperitifs, and they always turn out perfect. He really uses the orange slice and not just the peel, which I like. This is not according to the rules of the “modern classics”, but I do this and prefer this way. I also appreciate that he has a ritual, and it’s not exactly an irreverent way of just getting a drink in his mouth. “

I then emailed Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Pepe Le Moko and was only a little surprised to find that – although he hadn’t seen the video – he wasn’t offended by the concept, not even a little. “Send me a link?” – he asked by e-mail. “I have already written on my website about shaking the Negroni . I don’t think it’s that bad, this is a strong enough and aromatic drink that will withstand a light cocktail. Certainly not an egg white Whiskey Sour, but a couple of freaks in a shaker for sure. “

All of this made me very excited to try the Tucci (as we now call the shaken Negronis), and I jumped off my couch (which is also my office) to whip it up. Unfortunately, when I walked over to my cart at the bar, I remembered that I was not in Campari. (Damn it, rules regarding limited shopping!) But next time I refill, I’ll try. After all, if anyone can convince me to break the rule, it is Mr. Tucci.

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