Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for a Deliciously Balanced Negroni Cocktail
by Stefanie Michaels
The Negroni cocktail was invented in the early 1900s by Count Camillo Negroni, a regular customer at Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy. According to legend, the Count asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to make a stronger version of his usual Americano cocktail by replacing the soda water with gin. Scarselli obliged, and the Negroni was born. Some reports say that the drink was first served in Italy, in 1919.
The recipe quickly became popular and soon spread beyond Florence and well beyond Italy.
The Negroni is considered a classic cocktail and enjoyed worldwide. It’s a very versatile drink, and many variations of it have been created, like the White Negroni (made with gin, Suze, and Cocchi Americano) or the Boulevardier (made with bourbon or rye instead of gin).
To make a classic Negroni, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- Orange peel, for garnish
Let’s Do this…
- Fill a mixing glass with ice.
- Add the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.
- Stir until well chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
A Negroni is traditionally served in an Old Fashioned glass, also known as a lowball glass. This type of glass has a wide brim and a heavy base, making it perfect for holding the ice to keep the drink chilled. The wide opening also allows the drinker to enjoy the cocktail’s aroma before taking a sip. A rocks glass can also be used, it’s a bit smaller, and it’s often used to serve short drinks with ice.
Did you know?
Legend has it that the Count asked Scarselli to make his usual Americano cocktail (made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water) stronger by replacing the soda water with gin. The bartender added an orange garnish instead of the usual lemon, and thus the Negroni was born.
While the Negroni is not technically Negroni’s invention, his role in popularizing the cocktail helped it become the iconic drink that it is today.
A little history:
Count Camillo Negroni was an Italian nobleman and adventurer born on January 23, 1868, in Florence, Italy. He was the son of a wealthy family and lived a life of privilege and luxury.
Negroni spent much of his early life traveling the world, visiting exotic locations such as the United States, Africa, and South America. He was known for his daring exploits, including working as a cowboy in the American West and fighting as a mercenary in Ethiopia.
Upon returning to Florence, Negroni became a regular at the city’s famous Caffè Casoni, where he allegedly asked the bartender to make his Americano cocktail stronger by replacing the soda water with gin. This new concoction became known as the Negroni cocktail and quickly gained popularity in the city’s social scene.
Negroni lived a colorful life, and his love of adventure never waned. He continued to travel extensively throughout his life and even published a book about his experiences in Africa called “Voyage to the Upper Nile.”
Count Camillo Negroni died on June 25, 1934, at the age of 66 and is remembered for his contribution to the world of cocktails and his adventurous spirit.
A little Florence history:
Florence is often referred to as the “cradle of the Renaissance” due to the significant role it played in the cultural and artistic movement that began in Italy in the 14th century. However, during the Middle Ages, Florence was actually known for its production of high-quality wool.
In fact, the Florentine wool industry was so successful that it helped to fund many of the city’s architectural and artistic achievements in the following centuries. The wool was exported throughout Europe, and Florentine merchants became some of the wealthiest and most influential in the continent.
So, while Florence is now famous for its stunning art and architecture, its early economic success as a wool-producing city played a significant role in its later cultural achievements.
Drink TIP: Adjust the ratios of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari to taste. Some people prefer a stronger gin flavor, while others prefer a more pronounced bitter flavor from the Campari. Experiment to find your perfect balance.