This hugely popular cocktail has been an Italian favourite for decades, the rich, bitter complexity of this drink makes it a unique and moreish cocktail. The Negroni is a great example of a cocktail greater than the sum of its parts, a simple mixture of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, each ingredient brings its own set of botanical flavours to the drink meaning the final product is deeply complex and its taste can vary depending on the gin or vermouth used.
Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth – Rocks Glass*
*premium glassware pictured, event glassware may differ.
The Negroni has grown in popularity over the last few years to become a favourite among casual drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.
While this cocktail has a very simple structure – made of only 3 ingredients, stirred with a little ice – the myriad of flavours contained in those ingredients means the Negroni is a rich and balanced cocktail, and by trying a range of different gins and vermouths you will find a unique drinking experience with each new combination.
The Negroni is a gin classic, although, whilst its a much loved cocktail, not everyone enjoys the strong bitter flavour profile of this Italian staple. For a similarly complex drink with a much sweeter flavour profile you could try the Boulevardier. This cousin of the Negroni switches the usual gin for bourbon, lending a woody, caramel-y tone to the herbal base of vermouth and Campari.
If you’re hoping to serve something longer and lower in alcohol alongside a Negroni you may want to think about its predecessor, the Americano. This drink predates the Negroni, and is traditionally served as a light aperitif. It combines the sweet vermouth and Campari with soda water instead of gin for a long, pre-dinner drink.
For a slightly more luxurious take on this classic you could try the Spagliato. This version replaces the gin with prosecco to make a tall, elegant cocktail packed with subtle dryness and floral fizz.
If gin’s your thing and you want to serve a range of classics including this celebrated spirit there are plenty of gin cocktails to suit all sorts of tastes.
One of our favourite gin classics is the Corpse Reviver No.2; this classic 30’s sour-style gin drink combines the eponymous spirit in equal measure with floral dry vermouth, orange liqueur and lemon juice, making for a balanced and tasty drink that packs a bit of a punch.
If you’re planning on featuring a Negroni on your menu and want to know more about what cocktails could accompany it, be sure to speak to your event organiser about your options, or check out some other gin-based, classic, and Italian-style cocktails from our list.
The most widely accepted version of how the Negroni was invented can be traced back to Florence in 1919. It is said that Count Camillo Negroni came back to Italy from America after spending time on a cattle ranch. He had a new found like of hard liquor and asked the bartender at Caffè Casoni, reported to be Fosco Scarselli, to replace the soda in his Americano with gin. There are of course some conflicting accounts, as with any history of a cocktail. Family of General Pascal Olivier de Negroni, Count de Negroni claim that he was the Count Negroni who invented the drink in 1857 in Senegal.
Myths & Legends
Camillo Negroni himself was an interesting figure. He travelled around America while in his twenties and lived the life of a cowboy for a period. He also lived in London, which, we like to think with its prevalent gin scene, led to him (perhaps inadvertently) creating one of the most iconic cocktails of all time. The Negroni family was quick to take advantage of the cocktail’s success too, founding the Negroni Distillery in 1919, in Treviso, Italy, where they produced a ready-made version of the drink, sold as Antico Negroni. The distillery is still open today.
The Negroni’s history is well-known and widely recounted across various bar blogs and publications all of which stick to roughly the same story about it being created by Count Camillo Negroni, Liquor.com has a great story about the Count speaking English on this return to Italy.
“This all went down circa 1920, after Count Negroni returned from the United States, where he rode the range, busting many a bronco on his travels in the Wild West. He was a tough man, by all accounts, and when American newsman Bob Davis bumped into him during a trip to Italy in 1928, he was sporting full cowboy regalia. “You speak English?” asked Davis. “You’re tootin’ I do, hombre,” replied the Count.”
Ingredients & Equipment
The Negroni is a great cocktail to try different brands with, the only ingredient that tends to stay constant is Campari.
Swap the gin and the vermouth for different versions and see which combination you like best.
We recommend starting simple with Beefeater, Campari and Cocchi Di Torino.
- 25ml Gin
- 25ml Sweet Vermouth
- 25ml Campari
- Orange Twist or Slice to Garnish
- Cubed Ice
- Bar Spoon
- Rocks Glass
- Take your rocks glass
- Using your jigger to measure, add the gin, vermouth and Campari to the glass
- Fill the glass ⅔ with cubed ice
- Using your bar spoon, gently stir to combine, holding the spoon between your thumb and forefinger and allowing it to move as you stir
- This will ensure you stir smoothly and don’t break the ice up while doing so
- Top the glass up with more cubed ice
- Garnish with an orange slice or a twist of orange peel
- Serve and enjoy!
For larger groups of six or more students, we offer the option to take things private. Our classes are fully portable, and we are able to set ourselves up efficiently and professionally in a wide variety of locations and settings across the capital, the UK, and beyond. You name the location, and we’ll endeavour to make it happen.
Give one of our dedicated event organisers a call on 020 8003 7982. They’ll happily talk you through your options, and answer any questions you may have about both our mobile and in-house cocktail making classes.