If you you’re asking yourself if you have ever heard of a Negroni then you are probably not alone. The world is full of traditional drinks from various regions. This particular drink hails from Italy. It is considered an Aperitif, which is a drink that is usually enjoyed before a meal.
A Little History On Negroni
A Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail. It is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part Campari, and garnished with orange peel. Although a traditional Negroni is made with an orange slice, and not a peel. Only outside of Italy is an orange peel usually served, although either are acceptable. The drink is shaken, not stirred, and made over ice in a rocks glass.
There is no historical record of the origin of the drink. According to wikipedia “While the drink’s origins are unknown, the most widely reported account is that it was first mixed in Florence, Italy, in 1919, at Caffè Casoni (formerly Caffè Giacosa), located on Via de’ Tornabuoni and now called Caffè Roberto Cavalli. Count Camillo Negroni concocted it by asking the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink.” The success of the drink prompted the family to start up the Negroni Distillerie. They started producing a pre-made version of the drink called Antico Negroni 1919.
According to Ginfoundry.com “Camillo Negroni himself was an interesting figure. He travelled around America while in his twenties and lived the life of a cowboy for a period. He also lived in London, which, we like to think with its prevalent gin scene, led to him (perhaps inadvertently) creating one of the most iconic cocktails of all time.”
Negroni Recipes From Classic To Modern
Let’s learn a little about the ingredients of the Negroni before we get into some mixology.
Campari – an alcoholic liqueur made from the infusion of herbs and fruit (including chinotto and cascarilla) in alcohol and water. It is a bitters, characterised by its dark red colour. Campari is often used in cocktails and is commonly served with soda water or citrus juice.
Gin – a distilled alcoholic drink that derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries. Gin is one of the broadest categories of spirits, all of various origins, styles, and flavour profiles, that revolve around juniper as a common ingredient.
Vermouth – an aromatized, fortified wine flavored with various botanicals (roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices) and sometimes colored. Brandy is usually used in fortifying vermouth.
You can find a lot of recipes for what is considered “one of the greatest drinks of all time” in this book from Amazon. Here are some variations on the classic recipe as well as the classic as well.
- Combine the Campari, gin and vermouth. You can either stir or shake them together in a cocktail shaker.
- Prep your glass. Fill a small cocktail glass with ice, then run your orange peel around the rim of the glass for extra flavor.
- Pour the cocktail. Pour the mixture over the ice.
- Garnish. Place the orange peel on top, or nestle it into the side of the drink, then…
- In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the gin, Suze, vermouth, and bitters.
- Stir until well chilled, about 15 seconds, then strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with lemon or orange peel (if desired).
Count Mast Negroni
- Combine in an all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for 20 seconds or until chilled and mixed thoroughly.
- Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
- Combine gin, pineapple juice, Campari, lime juice, and orgeat in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass.
- Garnish with a cherry.
- Stir Campari and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top with soda and stir.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
- Combine Aperol, vermouth, and gin in an ice-filled shaker.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass.
- Squeeze lemon twist over cocktail and then discard.
- Stir bourbon, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker.
- Strain into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
- Flame the orange peel atop the drink. (Squeeze the peel side toward the cocktail to express the oils and light a match in between the peel and the drink.)
- Drop peel into cocktail.
- Stir whiskey, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass,
- Garnish with a lemon twist.
- Combine gin, Campari, lemon juice, Lillet, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a sprig of tarragon.
The Lasting Legacy Of The Negroni
One thing is for certain. A drink doesn’t spawn this many variations unless it is a beloved drink. The Negroni has had some ebbs and flows in its popularity, of that there is no doubt. The drink, like most classics, found its way back to the limelight and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. It has such a following that you can buy candles with its scent on Amazon. If the smell just isn’t enough for you then you can even enjoy this lip balm anytime you want so you always have the taste of Negroni. Maybe that’s a bit extreme but hey, we don’t choose the ones we love do we folks?
Enjoy the recipes and if you’ve never had a Negroni then you need to do yourself a favor and go check out what all the fuss is about. As always, have fun, drink up (not you DD), and have a good time. Cheers!