Want to impress your date? Order a Negroni. Want to impress your boss? Order a Negroni. Want to impress the bartender? Order a Negroni.
It’s the only drink to order these days if you want to a) Tell everyone around you that you’re smart, savvy and sophisticated, and b) Enjoy one of the very best tipples you ever did sip.
The Negroni is also one of the few cocktails with a traceable history that goes all the way back to the early 20th century. Its origins are documented in the book Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, which was written by Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffe Rivoire in Florence, Italy. The drink was created at Bar Casoni in Florence, according to Picchi, when Count Camillo Negroni ordered an Americano—sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda—with gin swapped in for the standard soda.
This all went down circa 1920, after Count Negroni returned from the United States, where he rode the range, busting many a bronco on his travels in the Wild West. He was a tough man, by all accounts, and when American newsman Bob Davis bumped into him during a trip to Italy in 1928, he was sporting full cowboy regalia. “You speak English?” asked Davis. “You’re tootin’ I do, hombre,” replied the Count.
In recent years, the Negroni has risen in popularity in the mixological community, and it has now joined the Dry Martini and the Manhattan to form the Triple Crown of classic cocktails. So why has the Negroni reached such heights? Besides being an incredibly well-balanced drink, it’s also a cocktail that’s hard to make badly—and this means that no matter where in the world you happen to be, if you order a Negroni you’re more or less guaranteed a great quaff. Try one. It won’t be your last.
Contributed by Gary Regan
- 1.5 oz Campari
- 1.5 oz Sweet vermouth
- 1.5 oz Gin
- Garnish: Orange twist
- Glass: Old Fashioned
Add all of the ingredients to an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir briefly and garnish with an orange twist.