What’s a Negroni and How Do I Make It?

Photo: Brian Leatart (Getty Images)

A lot of guys skip over the Negroni on the menus because the name sounds like something the girls in Sex and the City might order. But the name doesn’t do this specific, interesting cocktail justice, and after finding more about its history and how to make it you will probably have a completely different opinion on the drink. Negroni is one of the classics most utilized cocktails for a reason and it stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the Martini and the Manhatten.

History of the Negroni

Unlike most of the other cocktails who have their origins in either Great Britain or the United States of America, Negroni was first made in Italy, in its most romanticized province of Florence, actually.

Also unlike for many other cocktails, the origin of the Negroni is well-known and not shrouded in mystery. It was made for the first time back in 1919 at the Caffè Casoni when Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender to switch up on the Americano cocktail and swap soda water with gin. Bartender added his own touch of utilizing the orange, not lemon peel as a garnish. Obviously, the name comes from the last name of the Italian count, whose family even started their own distillery making the Negroni drink. But nothing can replace the richness of taste that a freshly, properly mixed cocktail can bring.

The drink is mostly regarded as an apéritif or digestif, meaning it’s normally served before or after a substantial meal, which is logical since it comes from a country that has one of the most famous cuisines. Unlike another popular food-related cocktail which is the Bloody Mary, Negroni is a classic cocktail, one that can be served regardless of the season or the setting, similarly to the White Russian.

Negroni Ingredients

– Gin
– Sweet Vermouth
– Ice
– Orange

Negroni Recipe

The Negroni is served in a chilled old fashioned glass, so before start mixing put your in the freezer for a while.

Use a mixing glass for making the drink, and if you don’t have it you can use any taller, wider glass you have around, to at least mimic the professionals’ choice.

Start by pouring one and a half of ounces of gin in the glass, and then add an ounce of sweet Vermouth. Finish the mixing with an ounce of Campari, which is also an Italian drink, that is considered an aperitif on its own. Do not be taken away by the ounce of Campari if you know how bitter it is, as the mixing really does it wonder, which is the beauty of making cocktails after all.

Add some ice to the mixing glass, and don’t worry, there won’t be any shaking as all the ingredients are alcoholic, so you’ll just stir the drink thoroughly. But don’t worry that the drink will be too strong because it’s made from only alcoholic ingredients, as Vermouth and Campari have a really low percentage of alcohol. It has a kick (which should be negated by the meal), but you won’t be mumbling or slouching from a glass.

After the stirring, take out your cooled off old fashioned glass, put ice cubes in it, the larger the better as they won’t water down the drink that much seeing how slowly they melt. Put a strainer over your mixing glass and proceed to pour the drink into the old fashioned glass.

Take the orange, peel of a twist from its skin, take it over the drink with the white part facing up, and proceed to elegantly squeeze the oils from it into the drink. Roll up the twist and put it in the drink and there you have it – a Negroni.

What do you think about the Negroni cocktail? Underrated, overrated?

If You Like The Look, But Not the Taste of Negroni Try the Old Fashioned.