The year is 1919. Florence Italy. A count named Camillo walks into a bar to order his favorite drink. (This isn’t a joke—though it starts off sounding like one.)
Just as the bartender was about to add the usual soda water to the Count’s Americano, Camillo stops him.
“Mi scusi. But maybe something a little stronger today,” says the Count.
So the bartender pours gin in the Americano instead. Then, to mark that this drink is unique—he garnishes it with an orange instead of lemon.
And so the Negroni was born—named after Count Camillo Negroni in 1919. And since that day, the Negroni’s ingredients would be modified and improvised on, in seemingly endless (and quite delicious) varieties over the next century. Here are a few of our favorite Negroni recipes. Enjoy.
2 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz lemon juice
3 dashes bitters
1 sprig tarragon, for garnish
Combine gin, Campari, lemon juice, Lillet, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of tarragon.
1 oz Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino
1½ oz gin
½ oz Suze
In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients and sitr with ice. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist.
The Sparkling Negroni
1½ oz dry sparkling wine
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
Stir wine, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice; garnish with orange twist.
The friendly staff at your local Spec’s are experts at selecting the finest ingredients for your cocktail recipes—at the best value. They are true gurus of gin and wizards of whisky. Next time you’re there, be sure to ask one of them for a recommendation!