Being in Berlin for BCB we couldn’t loose the occasion to interview Mr. Mauro Mahjoub, one of the bartenders that helped the most to spread the love for the Negroni in the world, owner of Mauro’s Negroni Club in Munich and Campari’s Brand Ambassador.
Mr. Mauro, why the Negroni? It is a bivalent preparation, you can love it or hate it: it changes depending on the age of who’s drinking it, how it’s prepared, the ingredients used, why do you personally love it so much?
The Negroni is one of the very few cocktails that were born in Italy, it’s a symbol of Italian way of drinking, and working abroad it’s a pleasure to spread something that reminds my roots. Plus I’m used to drink it, back at the times of my first bar shifts, I remember we always endend the work with a Negroni, so the flavor it’s something that is very present in my palate. I won a contest in 1996 with a Negroni twist and I opened the Mauro’s Negroni Club in 1998, so it’s been some years since my interest for the Negroni.
Can the Negroni be considered a cocktail category instead that a single cocktail?
Absolutely yes, the Negroni offers unfinished variations. In 2011 I organized a contest for twist on the Negroni, I received hundreds of recipes, and this idea was very appreciated. There’s only one rule: the Campari is necessary, and I’m saying this not for my role of ambassador for this brand, but because it’s an historical truth, that’s how the Negroni was born.
What do you think about this renewed passion for the Negroni? Do you think it’s just a commercial trend?
In the USA the Negroni is the second most sold cocktail, it isn’t just a well studied commercial operation, it is a combination of flavours, their complessity and it’s simple preparation to make the Negroni so loved in the world.
Negroni built on the rocks or stirred Negroni?
The Negroni must be necessary stirred. The first definition of the word “cocktail” in 1806 described a mix of spirit, water, bitter and sugar. The Negroni is faithful to this definition, and stirring it helps to have a little dilution that helps to have a smoother drink.
Mr. Mauro, can you leave us a recipe to drink at home? Something that may be appreciated by our readers?
One of the Negroni I love the most uses Cynar and cucumber:
1 part of London Dry Gin, ½ part of Cynar, ½ part of Campari, 1 part of Vermouth and cucumber as a garnish.
Many thanks to Mr. Mauro Mahjoub for the time he spent with us, in such a crowded event, finding him so opend and smiling has been very appreciated.
The Negroni is here to stay, and we all look forward to the celebration of its first century, in 2019!