The History of the Negroni Cocktail

[fa icon="calendar"] 5/9/24 7:54 AM / by BauscherHepp

history of the negroni

The Negroni. It’s a cocktail so beloved worldwide that it has its own week. This level of popularity exists even in the middle of a craft cocktail movement, with more bartenders and mixologists than ever creating new cocktails with different flavors and combinations. The Negroni is a classic for a reason, and it still remains a staple in bars across the world.

Wanderlush PassportWhy is the Negroni so good? Some might say it's the simplicity of the recipe -- one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. Garnish with an orange peel, and you’ve created one of the most renowned cocktails anywhere. And, of course, every Negroni is made better by the right glassware and a little bit of historical context.

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

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 cocktail's popularity 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, he tasted the drink for the first time and reported 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 boosted the Negroni, as its bright colors are suitable for sharing. In 2013, Negroni Week launched as a celebration of one of the world’s greatest cocktails, with over 6,000 bars and restaurants serving up the drink while raising money for charity. Lastly, the Negroni is still a big part of today's cocktail scene, with many cocktail bars reinventing it in slightly different ways. 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 Mixology Glassware Catalog 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

Narrow your selection below.


New Call-to-action

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts