My love affair with the Negroni began in an underground bar in London, where I was at first taken aback by its bitterness.
As I sipped on, its juxtaposing simplicity and bold flavour captivated me and since then it has become a firm favourite for celebrations, special occasions and on Saturdays during the summer, around 6 in the evening, catching the last light of the day.
It’s widely believed that the Negroni first came about in Caffe Casoni in Florence in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked for his Americano (sweet vermouth, Campari and soda) to be strengthened, from which the barman replaced the soda with gin. It’s classed as an aperitivo, which is why it’s best enjoyed under the sun with a few nibbles. The Negroni Sbagliato, meaning mistaken in Italian, is another popular variation, where the gin is replaced with prosecco and it produces a spritzy, lighter drink.
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
1 part gin (or prosecco to make a negroni sbagliato)
Frost your rocks glass in the freezer for 10 minutes before adding in 2 or 3 ice cubes, or better yet, with an ice ball.
Next, pour in 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Campari and 1 part gin (or prosecco) and finish off with an orange peel.
Rim the glass with the peel and gently wring it out over the drink for an aromatic flavour.