The Negroni: three simple ingredients, one magnifico cocktail. Although it doesn’t enjoy the widespread popularity or iconic status of the Martini, Manhattan, or Old-Fashioned, in terms of flavor and character the Negroni is every bit on par with these giants of the cocktail kingdom.
Comprised of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari (a bitter-sweet Italian liqueur) and garnished with an orange twist or slice, the Negroni is traditionally served as an aperitif cocktail but delicious enough to enjoy any time of the day.
Falling on the drier side of the cocktail spectrum and dominated by citrusy, herbal, and fairly bitter notes, the Negroni makes for a great introduction to the wide and wonderful world of bitter, complex, amaro-based cocktails.
Cocktail lore ties the creation of the Negroni to Count Camillo Negroni of Italy, a famous tippler of the early 1900s. The story goes that Count Negroni asked his bartender to up the ante on his favorite cocktail, the Americano (sweet vermouth, Campari, and club soda), by substituting gin for the usual soda water and—violá! (or as the Count would say, ecco!)—the Negroni was born. True to the Count’s taste, the Negroni packs a boozy punch, so be careful if imbibing more than one or two.
If you haven't tried a Negroni yet, today's kickoff of Negroni Week, an international charity event celebrating this great cocktail, is the perfect time to do so.