A toast to Italy: Here’s how to celebrate Negroni Week by making cocktails with a twist

Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail invented in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence, Italy. It is an aperitif made of gin, vermouth and Campari, and garnished with orange peel. As the world celebrates Negroni week, here’s some information about the drink and a classic cocktail recipe
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A traditionally made Negroni is stirred, not shaken, and built over ice in an old-fashioned or rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange. Outside of Italy, an orange peel is often used in place of an orange slice.

Negroni Week began as a charity event started by Imbibe Magazine in 2013. Since then, it has been adopted across the globe as the week to celebrate the classic cocktail and raise money for a good cause while doing so.

Things are a little bit different in 2020. Instead of heading to your favourite bar to partake in Negroni Week this year, Negroni Week has hit the digital sphere. Many people are celebrating the cocktail that they love and raising money for a very important cause. This year, they are supporting the hospitality industry which has been hugely impacted by the events of 2020 – but with the added benefit of being able to learn to make this iconic cocktail yourselves. 

This may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, bartenders all over the world including myself are there to assist you with our tips and tricks on how you can be sipping a deliciously crafted Negroni from the comfort of your home, while still supporting the industry you love.

What is a Negroni?

Negroni is a classic cocktail that is simple to make

If you have read this far and are still wondering what I am talking about, let’s clear that up pronto!

The Negroni is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time because it is simply delicious to drink and deliciously simple to make.

The ingredients for a classic Negroni are gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with the most widely accepted recipe being equal 30ml measures of each – though I have certainly been served some that have been 45ml of each and I was not complaining.

 

The recipe itself allows for endless variations by changing the type of gin, sweet vermouth or bitters you use. There have been numerous twists over the years – the most notable being the Negroni Sbagliato which replaces gin with sparkling wine and the white Negroni, which uses a white vermouth and Suze in place of the Campari.

 

The choices are endless for creating twists; the cocktail itself follows a simple recipe of equal parts strong, sweet and bitter – gin, sweet vermouth and Campari respectively.

As long as you keep a balance of each of those components, you can let your creative freedom run wild. Perhaps you could begin by twisting the sweet element into your glass and work up from there. For example, you could add an orange liqueur in place of all/some of the sweet vermouth.



The Negroni is the perfect cocktail to sip over an evening. The first sip is different from the last as dilution increases over time and flavours adapt to the changes in temperature and water. 

This means even if you are consuming in solitude you will be surely enamoured by this drink. It is also a brilliant drink to pre-batch, so you can make a larger quantity, then keep in the fridge to have on hand later in the week.

It’s also nice to know you will have people all over the world sharing a Negroni with you in spirit. Salut!   

History of the Negroni

The Negroni cocktail originated in Italy

The history of the Negroni is largely debated to this day; the story I favour most is that it is a boozier twist on an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, sparkling water). The Americano itself was adapted from aperitivi that was consumed in Northern Italy in the late 19th century to better suit the American palate.

 

Flow backwards to 1919, and Count Camillo Negroni- who was said to be quite partial to a cocktail or two, much to the dismay of his wife - wanted to get a bit more kick from his drinks without alerting his spouse. The bartender at Café Casoni in Florence, Fosco Scarselli assisted the Count with his endeavour by changing the sparkling water in his Americano to gin and serving the drink in the same glass. The Countess was none the wiser and the Count was all the merrier.


Customers eventually got to know this new serve and would order “one of Count Negroni’s drinks” and thus, the Negroni was born.

 Call me a traditionalist, but no matter how many Negroni twists I have tried, I will always come back to a classic.

Here's one of my favourite Negroni recipes:

CLASSIC NEGRONI

Ingredients:

30ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin

30ml Rosso Antico*

30ml Campari

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass full of ice. Stir to dilute. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange slice or twist.

                    

  • Substitute for a different sweet vermouth if Rosso Antico is unavailable.

(Image credits: Evonne Eadie and Shutterstock)

Edited by Asha Chowdary

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)