The Subtle Art Of Placing Orange Peel In Your Negroni

If you're on the internet at all these days, odds are you've seen an uptick in mentions about Negronis. This new obsession with the cocktail is all thanks to an interview with actor Emma Darcy, who plays a lead role on HBO's hit show "House of the Dragon." In a video, Darcy claimed their favorite drink is a Negroni sbagliato with Prosecco and the concept has taken those obsessed with the actor and the television series by storm (via YouTube). Now, cocktail lovers around the world are ordering the Negroni or attempting to make one at home.

For those who are unfamiliar with the classic Negroni, the New York Times says it is made up of three liquors: gin, vermouth rosso (which is bitter-sweet and rouge in color), and Campari (an Italian apéritif, bright red and infused with herbs). It's traditionally served on ice and always garnished with an orange peel. But believe it or not, there is more to adding a citrus peel to a cocktail than balancing it on the rim of the glass.

Twist and drink

Cocktail-making is an art form as well as a science. A quality drink should be made with precision, with exact pours, good liquor, and using the tricks of the trade. For the most part, cocktails are all about the beverage itself, but on specific occasions, like with a martini, or in this case, the Negroni, the garnish is an important part of the overall cocktail experience.

First of all, you'll want to use what is called a "rustic swath" orange slice for this drink using a peeler or cheese slicer to cut away at the skin of the orange so you don't get a lot of the white, bitter pith (per Steve the Bartender on YouTube). After your Negroni is poured over ice, Food & Wine recommends the best way to add your orange garnish is by "expressing" it, which basically means that you'll twist it over the drink so that the oils on the skin are released. 

Once you've done this, do not use the peel to flavor the rim of your glass — this will numb your mouth when drinking. Instead, place your garnish directly into the Negroni vertically, with the orange side against the glass. This will give the drink an attractive look and allow the orange to lend its aroma to the drinking experience.