Cocktail History: The Negroni

A Negroni in a rocks glass on a coaster

A Negroni is an aperitif that has gained worldwide popularity as a drink to stimulate your appetite before a meal. Composed of Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Campari bitters, and an orange slice. Traditionally, Negronis are stirred, not shaken, and built over ice in a classic or rocks glass. This iconic beverage is never seen without its essential garnish: a slice of orange. Nowadays, Negronis have gotten a modern twist, as it is also common to see this alcoholic beverage served with an orange peel instead of a slice.

Negronis are arguably the most celebrated cocktails on an international scale. Hailing from Italy and making its way into the hearts of many across the globe, the Negroni has brought the romantic renaissance era into the modern world. This exquisite cocktail can be considered as beverage royalty that is wrapped in rich history.

A Negroni served with ice and a lemon slice

The Negroni’s Origin

When the topic of the drink’s history and origin is traversed, there has always been room for debate. It is said that the Negroni was born out of the Milano-Torino, which was invented in the 1860s at Caffe Camparino in Milan, Italy. Being popular among Americans who often requested for the drink to be modified with a splash of soda water, the name, Americano, was born.

Come 1919, this quintessential drink has maintained its reputation as one of the most widely loved drinks ever invented. Moreover, the Negroni continued to evolve and propel to new heights. Legend has it that the Negroni originated at Caffe Casoni, which is situated in the City of Dreams, also known as Florence, Italy. Based on historic recollections of this event, it has been said that the widely loved aperitif was catalyzed by young Count Camillo Negroni. He resided in London, UK, but was known for traveling across the United States for a period of time.

One day, Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend, Forsco Scarselli, who was a bartender at the aforementioned dining establishment, to enhance his Americano, which was apparently his favorite cocktail. Forsco Scarselli obliged and replaced one of the drink’s main components with a stronger ingredient. To be more specific, he traded in the traditional soda water for gin. Originally, Americanos are served with a finishing touch of a lemon slice, but this creative bartender decided to put a spin on that aspect as well by replacing it with an orange slice.

A Historic Mixologist X The Count

In that very moment, Forsco Scarselli unknowingly solidified his status as a genius mixologist. Because soon after, the drink became massively popular with the public. Everyone was flocking to the establishment in order to get the hybrid drink which was soon called a “Negroni”. Thus, one of the most archetypical cocktail’s came to life.

Following the explosive popularity of the Negroni, the Count’s family built upon its success by establishing the Negroni Distillery within the same year, in Treviso, Italy. Their company produced an off the shelf rendering of the cocktail, which they called the Antico Negroni. Due to the neverending success of the Negroni, the renowned European distillery is still operational to this very day.

The Negroni of Today

It’s safe to say that the well crafted Negroni has transcended generations and is still reigning as one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the entire world. Thanks to its perfect fusion of bitter orange, note of sweetness, and hints of elegant floral, this aperitif is the choice of many for all festive occasions. Being the cosmopolitan cocktail that it has built itself to be, it will most likely traverse many generations to come. Whether you enjoy the classic version or enjoy adding a modern twist, the Negroni is a dinner party table staple.

Now when you enjoy your Negroni at your party with friends and family, you’ll know who to thank for the exquisite concoction; Forsco Scarselli.

When it comes to planning a party, a sophisticated banquet dinner, or even just a quiet gathering with your loved ones in the comfort of your own home just to catch up on the good times, you could never go wrong with serving up delectable Negronis. These world class cocktails are ideal for sipping on before a meal as a graceful interlude for the main event.

Making a classic Negroni only requires four basic ingredients:

  • Gin (20 ml)
  • Sweet Vermouth (20 ml)
  • Campari Bitters (20 ml)
  • Fresh orange peel or slice (1)

To bring this cocktail to life, you start off by mixing the bitters, vermouth, and gin into a mixing glass. Next, add ice and stir until the concoction is chilled. At this point, all you have to do is strain the liquid into a rocks glass, and finally, top it off with your orange peel or orange slice garnish.

A brown and white counter with six high chairs and drinks behind the bar

Since Gin plays such a quintessential role in the making of the perfect Negroni, it’s imperative that you find gin of superlative quality. When it comes to cocktails or any type of beverage for that matter, it’s all about the flavour and the moments in between. Flavour is created by a medley of overtones and refinement.

At Spirit of York, we produce some of the world’s finest and elite spirits by means of time honoured distillation methods in collaboration with state-of-the-art equipment. The process commences by utilizing the very heart and soul of the purest portion of the distillation process. Consequently, the substance is slowly and methodically saturated with the essence of our 15 select botanicals.

This procedure infuses the Gin with the lavish composition of juniper, coriander, fennel seed, angelica root, cinnamon, and other proprietary botanical ingredients to balance the crisp, refreshing, and genuinely unique Gin. With the first sip, you’ll know that this Gin is clear, savory, and one of a kind. The spicy notes matched with the revitalizing citrus flavours are fused Cubeb Pepper and Star Anise that make it perfect to be enjoyed on its own or mixed into your favorite cocktail, just like the Negroni.

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