The classic Italian aperitif Negroni is so loved that there is an actual Negroni Week and while it’s been around for over a century, the bitter cocktail’s popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years.
The Negroni was first created in Florence in the early 20th century. The story goes that a man named Count Camillo Negroni walked into a bar called Caffe Casoni and asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to make him a stronger version of his favourite drink, the alcoholic Americano. The Americano is a cocktail made with Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water. Scarselli replaced the soda water with gin and garnished with orange peel. Thus, the Negroni cocktail was born.
It quickly became popular in Italy and eventually made its way across the pond to the America. In the 1940s, the Negroni was a drink of choice among American and British expats living in Italy. It soon began to appear in cocktail books and gain popularity in the UK and US.
In recent years, the punchy cocktail has experienced a serious resurgence. Bartenders all around the world have put their own spin on the classic, making it their own with new ingredients and flavours.
For many, ourselves included, it’s the taste of a warm summer’s evening. In 2019, the largest ever Negroni was created in Milan. 77 gallons and made with 375 litres of gin, 250 litres of Campari and 250 litres of sweet vermouth. A Negroni is typically about 24% ABV, so we better all watch out.
Negroni ingredients are all equal parts and the classic Negroni recipe itself is pretty straightforward: gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and a garnish of orange peel. Mix together and pour into a short tumbler or Old Fashioned glass.
We like a Negroni Sbagliato, where the gin is replaced by sparkling wine or prosecco and the Campari switched out in favour of Aperol or Faccia Brutto, the latter coming in a nicer looking bottle - which we can all agree is important. If you are feeling particularly wild, why not Mescal Negroni. Just swap the gin for mescal.