The History of the Negroni Cocktail

[fa icon="calendar"] 6/9/17 12:17 PM / by BauscherHepp

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The Negroni. It’s a cocktail so beloved around the world that it has its own week. Despite being in the middle of the craft cocktail movement, with more mixologists experimenting with new cocktail flavors and combinations, the classic Negroni still remains a staple in bars across the world.

The Negroni recipe is a simple one – one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. Garnish with an orange peel and you’ve created one of the most classic cocktails around. And of course, no Negroni is complete without an Old-Fashioned glass.

The History of the Negroni

Unlike most cocktails whose origins are hazy, we can trace the Negroni’s history back almost 100 years. So mix yourself a Negroni, kick back, and take a delicious trip through history.

The history of the Negroni starts in the early 20th century in Florence, Italy at Caffè Casoni. It was there in 1919, that Count Camillo Negroni, a rodeo clown in the Wild West back in the United States (seriously) ordered the bartender to concoct a stronger version of the Americano by substituting soda water for gin and an orange garnish instead of a lemon.

Like his bucking broncos, Negroni’s cocktail took off. Soon after, the Negroni family founded the Negroni distillery and began producing a ready-made version of the drink called Antico Negroni.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the cocktail in the United States was stymied due to Prohibition in the 1920s. While the Martini, Manhattan, and Old-Fashioned were the kings of cocktails in the mid-20th century, the Negroni, slowly but surely, was gaining momentum.

In 1947, Orson Welles sparked the Negroni surge in the States when, while overseas in Rome, tasted the drink for the first time and reported back to an Ohio newspaper that “the bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, as the Negroni momentum began to build, bartenders and mixologists tested variations of the cocktail, like substituting Prosecco, whiskey, vodka, or tequila for gin, or dry instead of sweet vermouth.

The craft cocktail movement over the last decade has helped cement the Negroni’s rightful place on any respectable cocktail menu. The rise of social media in foodservice has also given the Negroni a boost, as its bright colors are suitable for sharing.

In 2013, Negroni Week launched as a celebration to one of the world’s greatest cocktails, with over 6,000 bars and restaurants serving up the drink while raising money for charity. Now that’s something we can all drink to.

Whether crafting a timeless classic or experimenting with the latest craze, every cocktail needs the right glassware. Download the Guide to Mixology Glassware to explore a full range of cocktail glassware and recipes.

guide to mixology glassware

Topics: Information, glassware, Luigi Bormioli, craft cocktails, mixology, italy, negroni

Written by BauscherHepp

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