When it comes to timeless cocktails, the Negroni should always be featured in the conversation. With its elegant burnt orange tint, slow and subtle bitter notes and its slow-lifting aftertaste of citrus, it is a drink that fits all occasions and seasons. Plus, like any classic cocktail, its simple to make.
We bring this up because June 1 through June 7 marks Negroni Week. Launched in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, Negroni Week features over 1,300 bars from around the world celebrating the history and tradition of one of the most popular cocktails on the planet.
In case you weren’t aware, the history of the Negroni is actually up for debate. The popular belief is that the cocktail was conceived in Florence in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni who asked his bartender to add a kick to his favorite drink, the Americano (not coffee—Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda). Negroni asked for the club soda to be switched with gin. The bartender added another bit of flair by including an orange rind instead of the standard lemon peel. As we know, the drink was ultimately a hit. But there are conflicting reports that it was actually General Pascal-Olivier de Negroni who invented the drink sometime before his death in 1913.
While the Negroni is perfect as is, for Negroni week, several bartenders from around the world have come up with their own takes on the timeless drink. Take a stab at making one yourself and maybe you’ll eventually be able to find out who actually invented the drink.
1 pt G’Vine Gin
1 pt Vermouth
1 pt Suz Bitters
In a mixing glass, combine gin, bitters and vermouth. Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
1 oz Partida Blanco or Reposado
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
Stir with ice and serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass with a orange slice or strain up into a chilled cocktail glass with a orange twist.
The Normandie Cocktail
1 oz Apple Brandy (Boulard Grand Solage Calvados)
1 oz Campari
1 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
1 dropper Bittercube Jamaican #2 bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice until cold; strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Express with lemon, include or discard peel.
1.5 oz gin
1 oz Amaro Lucano
0.5 oz Martini Gran Lusso
3 dashes Angostura
Stir all ingredients and serve on the rocks. Garnish with an orange slice and lemon zest.
1 oz Diplomatico Blanco Rum
1 oz Campari
1 oz Carpano Antica White
In an Old Fashioned glass, combine one large cube of ice, rum, Campari and vermouth. Grate orange zest over the top of the cocktail and serve.