Negronis in Italy

Negronis in Italy

It’s time again for one of the happiest (if not the happiest) weeks of the year — Negroni Week. This year’s Negroni Week spans from September 18 to 24.

This drink is so simple to prepare and requires just three ingredients: Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin. These are three Spirits that you need in your home bar at all times so a Negroni is always a minute away.

The origins of this great cocktail are in some debate but I feel that the most credible story points to Florence, Italy. As the tale goes, Count Camillo Negroni in Florence, Italy co-invented the cocktail in 1919 at Café Casoni along with bartender Fosco Scarselli. Count Negroni asked Scarselli to alter the Americano (Campari & Sweet Vermouth with soda) by swapping Gin for the soda. As they say, the rest is history. The story is well 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.

While the Negroni seems to have been invented in Florence it has become something of an institution in the capital city, Rome and throughout much of Italy. In Rome the classic garnish of orange slice or peel is often augmented with a lime wedge and even a green olive or two.

Making a Negroni

Equal portions of Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Gin (typically 1 ounce or 1.5 ounces of each) into a mixing glass with a wide strip of fresh orange peel. Add ice and stir well for 20 seconds. Strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass and serve with an orange peel. The Negroni can also simply be made as a “build” adding the three ingredients to a glass with ice or once stirred, strained and served up in a chilled cocktail glass.

Some bartenders want to tinker with the portions — why fool with perfection?. The Negroni is sublime because of its simplicity and its balance.

If you are one of the rare cocktail drinkers on the planet who has not yet tried a Negroni, there is no better time to start than Negroni Week.


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