I drank my first Negroni at Dubai’s BB Social Dining on a cool winter night in 2018, when the House of Negroni took over the three story restaurant and flipped it into a cocktail-lovers fantasy.  Groovy tunes set the atmosphere as the city’s most beautiful swayed between Negroni fountains, indulging in food & drink pairings that would eventually lead to an intimate master-class in the cozy bar upstairs. It was fun, interactive, and a just sexy enough to peak my curiosity about the bitter little drink with the massive cult following.

Arguably the defining cocktail of this generation – its ingredients are simple. Made of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, gin, and a slice of orange, it is said to have originated in Florence circa 1919 with an alleged history that involves an Americano, a bartender, and someone by the name of Count Camillo Negroni (read more here). The Negroni family tree has grown exponentially over the century, with variations that include tequila, prosecco, and whiskey to name just a few.

Currently on lockdown without a bar, restaurant or Negroni fountain in sight – John Gillespie, founder of the House of Negroni, challenged me to swap my daily glass (or two) of wine and make the cocktail to post on social media. Left with an abundance of liquor that I wasn’t going to drink alone, the dessert-lover in me added it to a simple chocolate mousse. Praying that it wouldn’t make into my culinary-disaster-hall-of-fame, the result was amazing! A wickedly delicious and absolutely naughty adult version of a Terry’s chocolate orange.

Negroni purists are either going to love or hate this. Try it and decide for yourself.

You might even become a fan.

*I used a Boulevardier in the mousse, part of the Negroni family that uses whiskey instead of gin.

Negroni Chocolate Mousse – Serves two to four

  • equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, whiskey or bourbon – I used 15 ml each, but you can definitely go stronger
  • 175 grams dark chocolate – min 52 % to 70 % cocoa solids
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • grated orange zest
  • wide slice of orange zest to garnish
  • Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over barely simmering water or in a double boiler
  • Mix together your Campari, vermouth and whiskey, then add it to your chocolate. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally *the bottom of the bowl should not touch the simmering water
  • Remove from heat
  • Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking well after each addition
  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form
  • Fold the egg whites into the chocolate in three additions
  • Fold in orange zest
  • Divide amongst rock glasses
  • Chill until set and garnish with a fat piece of orange zest

Saluti and Bon Appétit!

*Special thanks to John Gillespie at the House of Negroni for the challenge





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