When was the last time you drank vermouth? You might not remember it, but it was probably not so long ago. Vermouth is a truly versatile drink, and this is the reason why it is usual to find it among the main ingredients of many cocktails. Even in some of the most famous ones, such as Negroni. In order to find the origins of this cocktail, we need to go back to the origins of vermouth itself and focus our attention in the north-west region of Italy, especially in Milan and Turin during the 20’s.
In his article “The Wild Story of the Negroni” (http://bit.ly/2fxbNm3) Will Shenton notes how two different ancient cocktails were commonly found back in the 19th century, the Milano-Torino (made with Campari and sweet vermouth) and the Torino-Milano (made with Campari and amaro). Negroni is commonly considered a variation of the Italian classic cocktail Americano, which is itself an evolution of these two ancient Italian mixes.
This enables us to understand how the Negroni was conceived, but still leaves us with doubts regarding both the origins of its name and the person who first decided to mix one up. These two facts are truly related, but there is still some controversy regarding the real history. The commonly agreed version is that Count Negroni asked his bartender to make his Americano stronger, by replacing soda with gin. There would be no doubt about the identity of this person, if it wasn’t because there were two people who went by that name and claimed paternity over the cocktail.
Image source: (http://bit.ly/2fKfPKQ)
General Pascal-Olivier Count of Negroni and Count Camillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni both claimed the invention of the drink, but the most widely accepted story is that it was the second who actually created it. Florence, Cafè Casoni, this is where Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend and bartender Fosco Scarselli to fortify his drink with gin. He had lived abroad, spending time mainly in the USA but also in London, where he most probably got in contact with the gin scene, perhaps leading him to the creation of this worldwide known cocktail.
Now that we know more about this classic cocktail, let’s learn how to prepare it following the recipe and instructions provided by Gary Regan in his article “Behind the Drink: Negroni” (http://bit.ly/2g9bcHd)
- 1/3 Campari
- 1/3 Sweet vermouth
- 1/3 Gin
Add all the ingredients to an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir briefly and garnish with an orange twist.
Image source: (http://bit.ly/2fQM36Y)
Finally, these are the 3 things all Negroni enthusiasts should know about this historic drink:
- Negroni is an evolution of the Americano, and in consequence of more ancient Italian cocktails such as the Torino-Milano or the Milano-Torino.
- Count Camillo Negroni is the creator of Negroni, having been first served in Florence in the early 20th century.
- Vermouth is one of the main ingredients of the Negroni, both are part of the Italian history.
Negroni has gained status as a contemporary classic. It is a well-known option for aperitivo, and the ingredients blend in such a perfect way that it seems like they were predestined to be together. It represents the holy trinity of Campari, gin and of course vermouth, always giving its distinctive touch.
My name is Jorge Ferrer, I am a spirits and cocktails lover and a vermouth enthusiast. I earned my MsC in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School and at the moment I hold a Junior Brand Manager position in Brown-Forman. I am planning to market my own vermouth, feel free to reach out or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeferrer191/ or @jorge_chinaski