I have long since been a fan of the Negroni. Italy's superstar cocktail that's held firm as one of the World's most successful cocktails since its reported invention in 1919. After making my way through the rather splendid book Negroni - by Gary Regan, (a great read and packed full of interesting and delicious concoctions for the Italian Aperitif) - I was once again, on the look out for interesting cocktails featuring my one of my favourite flavours - Campari.
I'm always hunting slight variations on the classic mix of gin, Campari & vermouth, so when I heard about the Lucien Gaudin Cocktail - I was intrigued.
Named after a famed Olympic Fencer (nobody knows why), the Lucien Gaudin takes its inspiration from the Negroni, but dries it out a little. It's a wonderful balance of bitter and semi-sweet. Dry from the gin and vermouth, bitter from the Campari and a little orange burst from the orange liqueur.
It's very well balanced and feels lighter, more summery than the Negroni, while still retaining all the bitterness that appeals to me.
Unlike the negroni, which uses sweet vermouth, the Lucien Gaudin uses dry and amps up the orange bitterness in the form of orange liqueur; think Cointreau, triple sec etc. I found a rather delicious French orange liqueur recently which worked wonderfully. It's a super refreshing cocktail over ice and makes great use of my favourite aperitif. It's most certainly on my ever-evolving cocktail rotation. Once you've polished off your Lucien Gaudin, why not try another of my favourite Campari cocktails, The Sculaccione - a heady combo of Campari, grapefruit and tequila! I'm sure you'll love that too - cheers!