The Negroni was created in Florence, Italy around 1919 at Caffé Casoni. Count Camillo Negroni was an Italian playboy for whom its name was given. Count Negroni would frequent the café and asked for something stronger than his usual Americano, a mix of sweet vermouth, Campari, and club soda with a twist of lemon. The bartender substituted gin for the club soda and orange twist in place of lemon.
The cocktail is documented in Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, which was written by Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffé Rivoire in Florence, Italy.
The Negroni is considered an aperitif, with equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. The sweetness of the Vermouth balances the astringency of the gin. The Campari is the medicinal bitter providing the unique flavor of the drink.
“The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” Orson Wells
1 oz. gin
1 oz. campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
In an a bar glass with ice, add the ingredients. Stir and strain over an ice filled rocks glass.
*If you want to tone down the bitterness of the Campari, try our version: skip the twist and adding one barspoon of Cointreau. I enjoy mine with a few Amaretti Cookies; a taste of Italy.