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Negroni

A brief history and recipe.

Published: 11th July 2020

Negroni – a brief history

In 2019, the Negroni celebrated its 100th birthday. There are many variations on how the classic cocktail came to be. Based on the recent Centennial anniversary date, most will tell you that the Italian Count Camillo Negroni collaborated with a bartender from Florence’s Casoni Bar, named Fosco Scarselli, in 1919 and the concoction was intended as a variation of another classic cocktail, the Americano. The Americano, which has its own interesting history, formally known as the Milano-Torino but changed by the Americans during Prohibition, is a mixture of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water. The story goes that Count Negroni asked Scarselli to upgrade his Americano and so he replaced the soda with gin and the rest is history… or is it?! There are more recent accounts and articles that claim Frenchmen General Pascal Oliver Comte de Negroni in fact introduced his comrades to his signature ‘vermouth-based’ cocktail in Senegal in 1870 as he led the charge of Cuirassiers in the Battle of Reichshoffen during the Franco-Prussian War.

Whatever its origins, there’s no doubting its merit. As an aperitif, it’s hard to beat. It’s uncomplicated yet sophisticated… but its bitter flavour profile means it’s certainly not for everyone.

Of course there are variations on the serve but it’s inherently simple because traditionally it calls for equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Some use more gin and many add a dash of bitters. There’s no doubting however, that it should be garnished with an orange twist or slice and stirred over ice.

Recipe

Ingredients

Garnish

Orange twist or slice or wedge

Method

Add ingredients straight into your drinking glass, preferably an Old Fashioned, add the orange garnish and stir.

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