You’ll struggle to find a cocktail menu in Italy without this staple: The Negroni. It’s a must-try if you seek a true Italian drinking and dining experience. In Italy, a meal is a progression. It has customs and routines that must be followed. One of which, is the enjoyment of an aperitivo prior to a meal to enhance the overall dining experience. As an aperitivo, the Negroni is meant to be enjoyed prior to eating a meal. Italians believe that the drink prepares the stomach for food and readies the palate for upcoming flavors. You’ll never find an aperitivo served on its own. Typically, other appetite readying snacks and savory bites will accompany it.
Legend has it that Count Camillo Negroni (the drink’s namesake) requested his bartender in Florence mix up his usual “Americano” — Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda — by making it stronger. Club soda was swapped for gin and the Negroni was born.
Like most of the best Italian treats, the drink is simplistic in nature: mix equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and dry gin with ice and garnish with an orange twist.
How to make a Negroni:
20ml Sweet Vermouth
1 fresh orange peel
Pour gin, vermouth and Campari into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange peel.