Free Vintage Cocktails Book: Make Your Own Negroni, Singapore Sling, Harvey Wallbanger

My cravings for a Negroni and variations such as the Americano have gone unrequited since I moved to South Florida. The bitter apertif, a Negroni dates from 1920s Italy and was invented by Count Camillo Negroni of Florence. 

Though restaurants such as Dapur

list the drink on its ambitious cocktail menu, it's served as a striped concoction: orange on the bottom, white on top, an unconventional variation to be sure.

While in Charleston, S.C., for a conference last week, I was delighted to find an entire Negroni menu at Fig. The menu comes as a reverent missive to the drink, including a quotation from New York Prune chef Gabrielle Hamilton in which she describes the Negroni as a "short and perfect aperitivo" that "echoes, ever so subtly, the color of sunset."

The restaurant's cocktails range from the classic Negroni -- a simple concoction of 1 1/2 oz. Campari, 1 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth, 1 1/2 oz. of gin served on ice with a sliver of lemon or orange rind for garnish -- to variations made with Bonal, Cynar, St. Germain, or Prosecco.

Since the cocktail has been tough to find in these parts, I've taken detours to Miami's Sustain, or more often than not, I'll make them at home.

If you'd like to do the same, we're giving away a fun recipe book, Vintage Cocktails by Amanda Halley, which includes the history and variations on drinks such as the Moscow Mule, a Gin Fizz, the Diplomat, and a Singapore Sling as well as the Negroni.

The winner pens the most clever answer to this question: Talk to us about bitters. What are they, and what's their use?

Please include your email in the comments so we know where to contact you. The winner will be announced Friday on this blog.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart