The humble, red-hued Negroni is one of the world’s most famous cocktails and we’re celebrating it this week. As with some of the finest classic cocktails, it’s a simple, sophisticated drink that’s super simple to make – equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin – but it’s got a complex, bracingly bitter taste that’s both unique and refreshing.
As these things go it’s history is disputed and cloudy. The most plausible story is that it was born in 1919 when an Italian bartender, Fosco Scarselli at Florence’s Café Casoni, created a stiffer version of an Americano cocktail (Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water) for a customer named Count Camillo Negroni. Well, you can fill in the rest.
Many say this just sounds too good to be true, but at least it lends the drink the story it so rightly deserves. From there, its popularity grew slowly… Over the past decade it has become the cocktail of choice in the hippest bars and restaurants. The rise (partly thanks to the growth in gin popularity) and rise has seen mixologists and bartenders across the world tweak the Negroni for new tastes, including the latest trend of barrel-aging them for a few weeks. Whatever type you settle on, just take into account that it’s a potent drink, no matter if you have one Negroni or four Negroni (the plural is the same as the singular).
25ml Sweet Vermouth
Use a tumbler, filled with ice. Pour directly into ice, stir (don’t shake), and add an orange twist. If you’d like to tweak the formula, try 45ml of gin instead of 25ml.
Famous Negroni Options:
Boulevardier: one and a half shots of bourbon whiskey, one shot of vermouth sweet, one shot of Campari.
Kingston Negroni: use rum instead of gin.
Cardinale: add dry vermouth.