As cocktail culture continues to grow and popularize, certain drinks continue to come in and out of the spotlight, and few cocktails are experiencing such recent popularity as the Negroni. Couple with the likes of the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan, and you have three of the single-handedly most popular classic cocktails of our time. Its simple, yet perfectly balanced combination of red vermouth and Campari make the Negroni a somehow refreshing tipple with just enough bitterness to make you want to continue to sip throughout the evening.
Many of the classic cocktails we have come to love today have a very uncertain history. The Martini and the Margarita, for example, have two of the most rumored histories in the cocktail world. Numerous stories have surfaced about the beginnings of who invented this and what was ordered where. But the Negroni has a traceable history dating back to the early
20th century where the book Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, first confirms the cocktail was created at Bar Casoni in Florence, Italy. Count Camillo Negroni, as it turns out, spent many years in America as a rodeo cowboy and developed a taste for stiff drink. Upon returning back to Italy, he ordered a cocktail from the bartender at Bar Casoni. He asked the bartender to make him an Americano, a popular aperitivo cocktail of red vermouth, Campari and soda water, but to replace the water with gin. And so it seems, bartenders around Italy came to enjoy the variation and it slowly spread.
It took a few decades for the Negroni to resurface, but it’s back, and it seems it’s here to stay. Coupled with gin’s growing popularity, Campari’s perfect balance of sweet and bitter and a classic Italian vermouth, the Negroni at equal parts is also a cocktail that’s nearly impossible to screw up. Served over good ice in a short glass, it’s beautiful bright color tells everyone around you that you’re serious about your drink. As Gary Regan wrote for liquor.com, “Want to impress your date? Order a Negroni. Want to impress your boss? Order a Negroni. Want to impress the bartender? Order a Negroni.”