Its origin can be traced back to Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy. According to the legends, this widely loved aperitif was made famous by Count Camillo Negroni, who travelled frequently to the United States. One time, he asked his friend to enhance his Americano, he obliged and replaced the soda water with a much stronger gin and added an orange slice as the garnish instead of the usual lime the drink took off, and people flocked to the bar asking for the classic Negroni. The family took advantage of the success and founded the Negroni Distillery in 1919 in Treviso, Italy, where they sold Antico Negroni, a ready-made version of the drink.
Some variations to mix things up a little
- The Boulevardier: Replacing the gin with rye whiskey will give you a boulevardier. Notes from the sweet vermouth and Campari are balanced by the powerful flavours of this whiskey giving you a sharper drink.
- Mezcal Negroni: Mezcal, a spirit hailing from Mexico is used instead of gin in this variation. Mezcal is smoky and earthy in taste and balances the sweet and bitter flavours of the Negroni.
- The Gloria: The Gloria cocktail ramps up the gin and reduces the Campari while adding in a bit of Cointreau and dry vermouth. The Cointreau mellows out the sharp dry vermouth, and the gin adds edge to any overwhelming sweet flavours.
- White Negroni: The Campari and sweet vermouth are replaced with Lillet Blanc and dry vermouth. A French wine-based aperitif, Lillet Blanc adds crisp floral notes to the cocktail.
- Cold brew Negroni: A lesser explored option, coffee-infused Negroni blends the silkiness of the cold brew with Negroni’s rougher edges, and the fusion is an odd and enticing mix.
- Negroni sbagliato: Made famous recently on social media, this is the cocktail for you if you like your Negroni a little lighter. Replace the gin with prosecco, and you’ve got yourself a sbagliato.
- For a sweeter yet spiced version, add a few drops of anise liquor to your negroni.
- Make sure you stir and not shake your Negroni to avoid diluting the drink.
- Smoke the peel a bit and spritz over the glass to release the smokey aromas.
- Negroni is best paired with salty dishes, cured meats, and certain varieties of cheeses.
- If it’s too bitter and punchy for you, make it with rosé vermouth instead.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes
- Pour 30ml Campari
- Pour 30ml of sweet vermouth
- Pour 30ml of gin
- Stir it well
- In an old-fashioned glass add a clear ice cube
- Strain the drink into the glass
- Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice and burnt rosemary