The Negroni is often quoted by bartenders as their favourite drink, combining equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari to create a perfectly balanced aperitif cocktail. The purpose of an aperitif is to prepare the mouth and palate for food, although you can equally enjoy at any time of the day (or night!).
The story goes that the drink was invented in Florence’s Caffé Casoni in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked bartender Forsco Scarselli to make a twist on his favourite drink, the Americano (which consists of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water with a twist of lemon). Scarselli decided to remover the soda and replace with gin and, hey-presto, the Negroni was born.
The Count was quite an eccentric character who travelled the world including London where he may have picked up his penchant for gin, and also spending time as a cowboy in the US. With the success of the Negroni, his family opened a distillery in Treviso in north east Italy which still produces a premixed cocktail – Antico Negroni – today.
You can get all the ingredients you need for a Negroni from your local liquor store. Simply combine the following measures in a glass over ice, and garnish with either a twist or slice of fresh orange to taste.
– 30ml of gin, such as Tanqueray or (preferably) Tanqueray No Ten
– 30ml of Campari
– 30ml of sweet vermouth (Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino, Dubonnet Rouge…)
Keep an eye out for the Negroni Trail in The Hague Cocktail Week featuring partner bars across the city centre. Details soon!