Il Negroni it is one of the most famous cocktails in Italy and in the world, a balanced and intriguing blend of gin, Vermouth and Campari born in the 1920s which never goes out of fashion. Created by an eccentric Florentine count, today there is no bartender who does not know the recipe for this cocktail.
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How the Negroni was born
The Negroni would be born in 1919 after a trip to London (England is the home of gin) del Count Camillo Negroni, an eclectic character of the Florentine nobility. The Count knew well the typical mixing of Anglo-Saxon countries and back in Florence he thought of proposing a cocktail based on gin, Campari and red vermouth. There orange slice it would have been a sort of signature of the Count, given that at the time oranges were a luxury for the few.
Legend says that it was a young boy from the shop who put the count’s idea into practice, Fosco Scarselli who worked in a grocery store in via de’ Tornabuoni.
From Florence the fame of the drink began to spread rapidly, first as a version of Conte Negroni’s Americano and then simply as Negroni. In the 1940s, traces of the drink can be found in the Floridita recipe book To Cubain 1939 with the name “Negrone” e in 1949 is mentioned in a spanish book.
In Milan, in the seventies, Mirko Stocchetto, one of the most famous barmen in the city, invented by mistake the Wrong Negroni. It is called that precisely because it was supposed to serve a Negroni but, after serving a customer, he noticed that a waiter had mistakenly placed a bottle of Spumante Ferrari in place of the gin. It went well, because the cocktail was a success: it was 1972.
Negroni: original recipe
The Negroni recipe is very easy to prepare but you have to be very careful with doses which must be the same for all three ingredients. Indeed, the proportions are 1/3, 1/3 e 1/3.
To prepare the Negroni, it must be poured into a tumbler (a type of low glass) the bitter Campari where he Martinithen the Vermouth rosso and finally the gin. Once you’ve added a few ice cubes, just stir and garnish the glass with one orange slice.
The alcohol content of the cocktail corresponds to about 28.3% Vol.
The secrets for an excellent Negroni
Many bartenders use, for mix the ingredients, the “build” technique, which consists of pouring the ingredients directly onto the ice and then serving. In fact this method tends to make this drink a lot alcohol; therefore, it would be better to mix the ingredients together with ice. In this way the drink will be cold and diluted as required.
The choice of spirits that make up the Negroni is important: to be on the safe side, a classic London Dry Gin it will be fine, perhaps with citrus scents or with non-sweet spices. The bitter par excellence, on the other hand, is the Campariwhile the Vermouth rosso more suitable for this cocktail must be dolce: by choosing Campari and classic gin, it will be the Vermouth that determines the aromatic profile.
The glass traditionally used to serve Negroni is a tumbler because it is a low glass that forces you to put your nose in the cocktail, savoring every nuance.
Even the choice of ice it is important, better to opt for large cubes and made with softened water. The dilution shouldn’t be too much, the ideal is not to create the cocktail directly in the glass, but in the mixing glass.
The variants of the Negroni
Surely the best known variant of this cocktail is the wrong Negroni, which changes from the classic Negroni due to the presence of the raw sparkling wine which replaces gin and is therefore in fact a lighter cocktail.
And cocktail simile al Negroni instead it is the Americano: it can be said that it represents a reinforced version of the Negroni, where, also in this case, Vermouth and Campari are found but soda replaces gin and for this reason it is lighter.
Another cocktail based on red Vermouth it is the Rob Roy, where Scotch whiskey and Angostura Bitter appear and is served in a different type of glass.