Negroni Cocktail; A Glass of Class


They say that bartenders like to hold their secrets close to their chests, just like their whiskey bottles. Luckily, mixology wunderkind Christos Chouseas doesn’t play by the rules .

It was only a year ago, when Chouseas - the man who single-handedly changed the Athenian bar scene forever - travelled to Mykonos for a very special mission: to trace the Belvedere’s path to maturity with an eclectic cocktail menu, designed to celebrate the hotel’s 20-year mark. And it came as no surprise when the Sunken Watermelon, a tiny anniversary bar featuring eight stools and six cocktails, quickly went from pop-up sensation to Belvedere landmark. So take a seat at the bar and join us in a brave attempt to decipher the Sunken Watermelon’s famous negroni. Some details will be more hazy than others, to the point where you can’t tell where the recipe ends and the storytelling begins, but there’s thing you’ll know for sure: you’ll never drink a negroni quite like this anywhere else in the world.

Negroni ingredients are not the same in Belvedere Mykonos Hotel

But first, there’s something you need to know: Belvedere guests don’t like to nurse their drinks. In fact, they often start sipping on a succession of liquid treasures come noon, that dangerous time of day when last night’s hangover dissolves and the next one begins. Enter “I Drink Negroni When…” a fragrant mood-lifter that’s meant to take your from day to night, without any major losses along the way! “There are nine ingredients in this version instead of the classic three,” explains Chouseas. “What we wanted to do was enhance the levels of complexity, traditionally linked with pleasure in the human brain. The more complex the drink, the more enjoyable the drinker’s mind deems it to be!”

Belvedere’s Negroni Cocktail inspired by a...champagne

As for the name, it was inspired by Lilly Bollinger, the owner of a famous champagne house in France. Wanting to promote her product and rationalize her tendency towards heavy alcohol consumption, she came up with this famous line: “I drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.” That’s how you should treat a Negroni cocktail when you are in the Belvedere Mykonos Hotel.

Negroni’s Recipe with a twist

Chouseas took Lilly Bollinger’s quote and substituted her beloved champagne with an equally elegant, if more intricate, negroni recipe of his own making. He aged it in the hotel cellar for 20 days and came up with a full-bodied blend that holds a lot of secrets: there’s not one but two kinds of gin in this glass of class, each with different botanicals and acidity levels, along with campari, vermouth cinzano, amaro and an aperitif a base de vin. “It’s like adding delicate, nearly invisible embellishments to an already beautiful drink,” says Chouseas. “Glass-aging cocktails allows the different elements to blend together, turning all the spiky notes into elegant curves. It’s ;ole spending time with someone you’re just getting to know. After a while, you start taking on each other’s characteristics.” In case you didn’t notice, this is the recipe for true love!


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