The Negroni is a popular cocktail or aperitivo that originated here in Italy that combines Campari with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth and is usually enjoyed before dinner. It is served with a twist of orange peel, or I like to add an entire slice of orange.
Campari is a popular alcoholic liqueur, usually enjoyed before a meal as a digestive, that is obtained from the infusion of herbs and fruit in alcohol and water. It has a bitter flavor and is well known for its dark red colour. Though quite bitter in flavor, when used in the making of a Negroni, the addition of sweet vermouth softens the bitterness just enough.
The exact origins are unknown, but one theory states that the Negroni was invented in Florence in 1919 at Caffe Casoni (now Caffe Cavalli). It is thought that Count Camillo Negroni accidentally invented the drink when he asked his bartender to strengthen his usual cocktail, an Americano, by using gin in place of soda water.
To express that this drink was indeed different from the Americano, the bartender also added a garnish of orange peel in place of the usual lemon. Although I do enjoy the flavor of this drink, I find it a bit strong, so I like to dilute my drink with a little soda water, or sometimes even a little orange juice.
Another way to lighten up a Negroni is to replace the gin with sparkling wine or Prosecco, which is called a Negroni Sbagliato, or mistake. This drink is best served alongside something salty such as nuts, or olives, and although it is a great before dinner drink, it is strong, so one is certainly enough!
- 2 Ounces Gin
- 2 Ounces Campari
- 2 Ounces Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Twists or Slices of Orange
- Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glasses and garnish with a twist of orange peel or orange slice.