Congratulations. You have reached the drinking stage where you can say with confidence that the Negroni is one of your favorite cocktails. The path to fully appreciating this most perfect drink was not always straightforward, but once addicted to bitter ambrosia, one could not get enough! They have ordered it in every place that had a dusty Campari bottle on the shelves and advertised it in all the myriad forms in which it was served – stirred; stirred up and then poured onto ice; shocked to the Tucci; and built on a rock in a glass (hopefully your now preferred format). Now you make it rain Negronis at homeRealizing that preparing your own is actually one of the few undisputed joys in life.
But sometimes something new beckons. Not because you question your admiration for the Negroni, but because you understand that the occasional detour sweetens the final arrival at home. (And because true love sets you free or something etc.) The very reasonable desire for something new and different is confirmation that you actually have a pulse.
If you are lucky you dare to go to the bar at the Attaboy, and if you are even more lucky, Pepper is sitting behind the bar that evening and when she asks you what you fancy, lean in and say – embarrassed, but with some glee – “A Negroni but like that, not a Negroni, you know?” She nods and you know you are in good hands. When she reappears, she pushes you the most beautiful and inviting coupé: “It’s a Gloria.” You take a sip and your eyes widen as you look gratefully at Pepper. Risk was rewarded.
The Gloria cocktail is often referred to as the love child of the Negroni and the Martini, but she’s also very much her own person, okay? I think she could be a Libra. The point is that it’s delicious and very, very pretty, with a translucent red glow that is reminiscent of a rare ruby. Her story of origin is pretty interesting too, and one that sent me down a rabbit hole.
The Gloria cocktail is most commonly attributed to Trader Vic around 1947 and is included in one of his bartending manuals. The Cointreau website, but claims it was created by Marie Glory – a French silent film actress with a taste for aperitifs – for a cocktail competition in 1929. I couldn’t find anything else that specifically corroborates this claim, but I did find it a photo of Marie Glory at a cocktail party she threw, and apparently she is presented on the posters for Campari’s advertising campaign in the 1930s. The intrigue continues! I think this mysterious atmosphere is perfectly appropriate for Gloria.
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To get to know them you will need:
- 1 ½ ounce gin (dry, London)
- ½ ounce of Campari
- ½ ounce of dry vermouth
- ½ ounce of Cointreau
- Lemon spiral for garnish
This is a stirred up cocktail, and there is no greater injustice in the world of libations than a stirred up cocktail that is not cold enough or overly diluted, or worst of all, both. It is important that both your coupé and your mixing glass are as chilled as possible and that you have plenty of fresh dry ice to work with – ideally in different sizes.
First pour the ingredients into the chilled mixing glass (you don’t need anything special, a Boston glass or something similar will do), then fill up with broken ice, larger pieces first and smaller pieces last. Stir gently, holding the back of your bar spoon against the glass, and adding ice if needed. The wetter the ice, the less time you have, so keep that in mind. In general, you’ll want to stir until the mixing glass is frozen again, about 30 seconds. After stirring sufficiently, take the coup out of the freezer (not a moment earlier) and strain into the glass. Press the lemon zest over the glass and garnish.