World-renowned mixologist and founder of Mancino Vermouth Giancarlo Mancino was in town to mix excellent aperitivo at Finestra Italian Steakhouse’s Aperitivo Epico. DrinkManila caught up with him to talk about Negroni, one of Italy’s many gifts to the world, just in time for Negroni Week.

World-renowned bartender Giancarlo Mancino at the Finestra bar, making a Better Spritzer

What makes a good Negroni?

One of Mancino’s Negroni twists and Finestra’s crowd favorite: the Cold Brew Negroni (Mancino Vermouth, Campari, cold brew, garnished with orange peel)

You know people say that they like a gin and tonic. But what kind of gin, what kind of tonic? Same with a cocktail–I’ll have a Manhattan, I’ll have a gin and tonic, I’ll have a Negroni. But what kind of gin are you using? It’s all about the products.

Negroni is a classic cocktail made with three ingredients: gin, vermouth, and bitter. Vermouth is very significant in the Negroni, and with artisanal Mancino Vermouth, you can easily have a good Negroni. It’s a safety for bartenders and consumers. So, if you want a good Negroni, make it with two parts Mancino, one part of bitter, and one part of gin, then you have a winner.

So, it helps to know your spirits.

Exactly.

Talk to us about your bottled aperitivo.

That’s the Rinomato. When I created this, I created something not as bitter as Campari and not too sweet as an Aperol. So it’s sweet, but it’s still in the aperitivo category. It’s not to substitute or compete with the Campari. It’s up to the consumer or the bartender to use. Again, it’s not very aggressive in bitterness like the Campari. It’s more natural. It has more orange ingredients and south Italian citruses. It’s an entirely different product. It’s part of the aperitivo, and it can be used for Negronis and spritzers. Basically, they make for better spritzers, better drinks. That’s why we have a cocktail here called Better Spritzer.

Finestra’sBetter Spritzer made with Mancino Vermouth, Rinomato, Moscato Sweet Lips, Crodino Soda, Dehydrated Orange Wheel, and Orange Peel

How many twists to the Negroni have you done?

About 10 to 15?

What’s your favorite?

I think my favorite one is the latest one in the clay pot. We preserve the Negroni—two bottles of the Mancino, one bottle Rinomato, one bottle of Gin—and we preserve that for at least 48 hours in the clay pot, but it can stay there for one year. It’s pure clay from South Italy. Once the clay starts sweating, it’s less bitter, because all the sugar comes out. It’s called Mancino Claypot Negroni. It’s available in a few other top cities in the world too like New York, London.

The Mancino clay pot made with clay from South Italy; The basic ingredients of #MancinoClaypotNegroni: gin, vermouth, and Rinomato
The #MancinoClaypotNegroni served as the Finestra Negroni, topped with a foam made out of chamomile tea steeped in Peroni beer

What other base spirits can you use for a Negroni?

You can do a Pisco Negroni, a Mezcal Negroni, Tequila Negroni. If you switch with bourbon, it becomes a Boulevardier, and that’s not a Negroni anymore. You can do it with Vodka, and we call it Negroski. You can switch with spirits; you can have it with Grappa. But it has to have vermouth and bitterness.


This year, from June 4 to June 10, 2018, bars and restaurants in different parts of the world will mix Negronis and Negroni variations and hold special events for Negroni Week. Visit negroniweek.com to find out more.

Stef Juan is a freelance writer, whenever-there’s-time blogger, and mother of floofs. She currently holds the title of Tita of the Year. Stef is always game to try new drinks, no matter how weird or scary-sounding they may be. She loves the concept of the aperitivo (mainly because she also loves to eat) and would love to explore more aperitif twists out there.

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