The Negroni has become a cocktail célèbre- I know it’s my favorite. But did you know it owes its origin to America’s Wild West?
Back in 1919, Count Camillo Negroni traveled to the ‘Wild West’ as far as Wyoming. When he returned to Italy and went to his favorite bar, he asked the bartender to juice up the cocktail that was in vogue, appropriately called the Americano. It was a mixture of sweet red vermouth and Campari with a twist of lemon. To increase the octane or as they say in Italian, irrobustire, the bartender decided to add Gin.
So all three have gone down in cocktail history: the barman Fosco Scarselli, the Count Negroni, and the
new cocktail, the Negroni. Even the bar in Milan has become a destination for lovers of the Negroni. Bar Giocosa was the Count’s hangout and has remained the epicenter of the world famous cocktail.
The recipe for the Negroni is elementary: 1/3 Gin, 1/3 red vermouth, 1/3 Campari, a twist of lemon or orange and ice.
Another bar became famous for a variant of the recipe: Bar Basso in Milan. The bartender, so the story goes, mistakingly used Prosecco instead of Gin, and the ‘Negroni Sbagliato’ was born. This version is perfect in warm weather and I serve it in a Champagne flute. It’s lighter and less alcoholic, and it has bubbles.
The Negroni has inspired other cocktails, such as the Negroski, the Alexander, the Manhattan and the Tequila bum bum.
And Negroni lovers have a rich history of famous personalities who also adored it. including Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.