In his definitive book on the matter, The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, renowned bartender and drinks historian Gary Regan credits the creation of this delectable aperitivo to a Florentine nobleman named Count Camillo Negroni who, in 1919, demanded that his local bartender whip up an Americano with more kick to it. The Count, who had notoriously spent time in the States wrangling rodeo bulls, was not a man to be trifled with, so bartender Fosco Scarselli complied, swapping out club soda for gin to deliver the added oomph Count Negroni desired. In the process, Scarselli bequeathed us a drink for the ages, simple to make and even simpler to sip in the afternoon sun.
The Negroni has gone on to inspire further variations of its own, including classics like the Negroni Sbagliato, the Boulevardier, and the Jungle Bird, as well as more modern concoctions like our Negroni Lollipops and Negroni Marmalade. If you couldn’t tell from these diverse treats, the bittersweet flavor of the cocktail works in many contexts and with a lot of ingredients, but the original, equal-parts construction is still the simplest and purest way to get that distinctive Campari taste.
- Never shake a Negroni! Stir, stir, stir. Always!
- Once mixed, strain into a rocks glass and add fresh ice, preferably larger cubes (think 1x1 cubes).
- If you prefer the drink up, use a chilled coupe glass.
- Serve with an orange twist garnish (the sacred garnish), grapefruit twist if you’re feeling adventurous.
Mix it Up
For a boozier take on the classic Negroni, add half an ounce more of gin to the mix. For a drier, smaller version keep the gin ratio the same and cut the Campari and sweet vermouth to three-quarters of an ounce.
Recommended Gins: Beefeater, Tanqueray, Plymouth, Aviation, Ford’s Gin, Greenhook Ginsmith Dry
Recommended Vermouths: Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, Cocchi Americano di Torino, Cinzano 1757 Rosso Vermouth
Recommended Campari Substitutes: Cynar, Aperol, Braulio
Easy and herbaceous, with a relatively low ABV, this aperitif-style cocktail from Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book eschews hard spirits in favor of a dry vermouth base. With bittersweet Bénédictine and absinthe as the only other ingredients, this elegant, simple cocktail is the perfect pre-dinner sipper to wake...