The History of the Negroni: Italy in a Glass
The Negroni is an incredibly strong – and incredibly popular – cocktail. Although its taste isn’t for everyone, many love its bitter herbiness, which is surprisingly refreshing before dinner. That said, it’s a great drink at any time of day!
Let’s look at where the Negroni came from and what makes it so popular.
The History of the Negroni
There’s some disagreement about the specific origins of the Negroni, but the general facts are widely accepted. It’s thought to have been invented by the Count de Negroni, who wanted his favorite drink to be stronger (a man after our own hearts!). He drank an Americano, which is Campari and red vermouth mixed with soda water. As you may know, a Negroni replaces the soda water with gin.
The Negroni was invented in 1919 at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy. The Count de Negroni was visiting the bar, as he did regularly, and asked for a stronger drink than normal. The bartender added an orange slice (rather than the Americano’s lemon) to show it was a different drink.
It became an instant classic in Florence and was quickly adopted by other bars in the area. From there, it traveled the world thanks to all the tourists who visited Florence. Because of its popularity, the Count de Negroni set up a distillery in Treviso, Italy, to produce a ready-mixed version.
Until recently, the Negroni was seen as a “professional drinkers” cocktail of choice that didn’t often appear on bar menus. It was typically seen as a sign that you knew what you liked to drink, and it wasn’t uncommon to have to instruct a bartender on how to make one.
But that all changed when Campari launched Negroni Week in 2013 to raise money for charity. Since then, the company has raised $3 million and produced Negroni-themed apparel ranges. It’s had such an impact that The Guardian deemed the Negroni to be the cocktail of 2021.
The Negroni recipe is incredibly simple in principle, but perfecting the balance of flavors takes time and practice. Here’s our recipe – the brands you choose are up to you:
- 2/3oz (20ml) London Dry Gin
- 2/3oz (20ml) Sweet Vermouth
- 2/3oz (20ml) Campari
- Garnish: Orange Twist
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well diluted & chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice, spritz an orange twist and garnish.
Celebrate Your Love for the Negroni
Whether you’re a new fan or an old professional, celebrate your love for the Negroni with some of our themed gifts. Choose from our range of Negroni stickers, including I Didn’t Like You at First, Harder Bitter Faster Stronger, and many more.
Cocktail Critters is the place to get your Negroni-themed gifts and accessories. Check out our recent addition – the Negroni pin – for a simple yet sophisticated addition to your pin collection. It’s only just launched, so get it while it’s hot!