The Negroni is a love it/hate it gin-based cocktail invented in 1920’s Florence by Fosco Scarselli at the behest of Count Camillo Negroni who ordered an “Americano con gin”. Instead of getting a disturbing take on the Irish coffee, the Count was given a refreshing Campari and sweet vermouth drink with the added kick of a measure of gin, which Orson Welles described a perfectly balanced: “the bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”
While the Negroni is nominally an aperitif, due to its use of Campari, it can be a little brutal to an empty stomach, belying its light fruity and botanical nose. But don’t worry, the bitters are excellent for your liver!
The classic Negroni is made as follows:
- Stir 25ml gin, 25ml Campari and 25ml sweet vermouth with cubed ice for sixty seconds.
- Strain into a chilled rocks glass with cubed ice.
- Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon.
Popular variations include the Sbagliato (wrong) Negroni (with prosecco instead of gin), the Boulevardier (with bourbon instead of gin) and the Negroski (vodka instead of gin).