In case you're wondering what a negroni is, it's on every bartender's list of favorite drinks and is a unique blend of alcohol and herbal aromatics. This brilliant combination leaves an exquisite, perfectly balanced bitter-sweet flavor that will thrill your taste buds. First, there's the gin with its earthy dry quality for the alcohol, the Campari for sugar with a twinge of bitter orange, and lastly, the vermouth for more sweetness, balance, and the trademark herbal flourish. Negroni is no doubt a drink with class.
Unlike drinks such as the margarita, negroni has one famous account of origin, which can be traced back to a vibrant man named Count Camillo Negroni in Florence in 1919. It is said that Count Camillo Negroni ordered the regular Americano, a combination of soda, Campari, and Italian vermouth but requested for gin to be mixed in place of soda.
The subject of the origin of negroni has been a cause for fierce debate over time between Italian historians and the Negroni family, shedding some obscurity to this tale. However, without a doubt, the famous negroni drink can be traced to Count Camillo, who traveled in his youth, gambling and living the cowboy life.
One thing is for sure; the Negroni family wasted no time in capitalizing on the popularity of negroni, founding Negroni Distillery in Treviso, Italy in 1919. The family named their brainchild drink Antico Negroni. Today, the distillery is owned by a new family.
In 1967, a bar in Milan named Bar Basso invented today's sister to negroni: Negroni Sbaglito, which means mistaken negroni. The story is that a busy bartender received an order for a classic negroni who fixed the customer's drink with Prosecco instead of gin. Guess what? The customer loved it.
How to make a decent Negroni
To make one, you need:
- 3cl / 1Oz. Gin
- 3cl / 1Oz. Campari
- 3cl / 1Oz. Italian red vermouth
- Orange slice
Making a negroni is super easy. Put all your ingredients in an ice-filled glass, stir and garnish with your orange, cucumber, or a lemon twist. You can never get it wrong, making a negroni and what's more? You can go light or heavy on the Campari or the gin if you like.
Negroni is great for parties and can be served straight or on the rocks.
After Count Camillo, dozens of other bartenders have come up with their own negroni variation, and every one of them is brilliant.
- Negrosky: replace gin with vodka
- White Negroni: gin, Lillet, Suze
- Rosita: Tequila reposado, campari, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, angostura
- Americano: Campari, Italian vermouth and top of soda water
- Negroni sbagliato: replace gin with Prosecco
- Boulevardier: replace gin with bourbon whiskey
- Mezcal Negroni: replace gin with mezcal
- Milano-Torino: Campari and Italian vermouth
- Old Pal: Rye whiskey, Campari, dry vermouth
Do it at home
The perfect way to make your custom-made negroni is to experiment with the vermouth. Go for a vermouth with vanilla, chocolate, or floral undertones. You may want to try London Dry gin in your experiment, although other gins are great.