What is a Real Italian Negroni?
Updated: Jun 27
What is a Negroni?
The traditional recipe for an Italian Negroni is as follows:
1 ounce (30 ml) Campari
1 ounce (30 ml) sweet vermouth
1 ounce (30 ml) gin
Orange twist or slice for garnish
(A). Fill an old-fashioned glass or a rocks glass with ice cubes.
(B). Pour the Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin over the ice.
(C). Stir gently for about 10-15 seconds to combine the ingredients and chill the drink.
(D). Garnish with an orange twist or slice.
(E). Serve and enjoy!
Note: Some variations of the Negroni recipe include adjusting the proportions of the ingredients according to personal preference or variation of ‘al bar’ in Italia.
But how do you know what the right ‘sweet vermouth’ is?
There are several popular brands of sweet vermouth that are commonly used in a Negroni, such as:
Carpano Antica Formula
Martini & Rossi
Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
Punt e Mes
What to expect
In many cases in Italy you can find a Negroni that comes in a bourbon-sized glass. However if you're lucky you will also find a Negroni full in a tall, glass tumbler.
If you are outside of Italy – like in Norway, the UK and other places that may have strict regulations on alcohol, the Negroni you get may end up being quite small in a bourbon-like glass. If this is the case, this is not a real Negroni.
The beauty of the Italian Negroni is the art of no measurement.
Some may say that the Aperol Spritz is more of a tourist drink, and the Negroni is for one who may be well-established in their Italian culture. You may also score high on the Italian social scale if you are at al bar or bar sport et al. and ask for a Negroni.
The hunt for a good Negroni at the lowest price might be around €5 to €7, or if you’re at a fancier bar or tourist location, it may range up to € 10-15.
Don't be fooled by its size.
The Negroni cocktail has an interesting history that dates back to the early 20th century in Italy. While the exact details may have some variations, the commonly accepted origin story involves a man named Count Camillo Negroni.
The story goes that in the 1910s, Count Camillo Negroni, an Italian nobleman, frequented a bar called Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy. The Count was known for his preference for strong drinks, particularly the Americano cocktail, which consists of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water.
Legend has it that one day, Count Negroni asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, to make his Americano cocktail stronger by replacing the soda water with gin. This modification resulted in the birth of what is now known as the Negroni cocktail. The drink gained popularity and eventually became a classic cocktail.
While the exact details and accounts may vary, Count Negroni's request for a stronger version of the Americano cocktail is generally considered the origin of the Negroni. Today, the Negroni is celebrated worldwide and has inspired countless variations and adaptations, but nothing beats a real Negroni from Italy.
So what is a real Italian Negroni?
A full, tall glass tumbler, a slice of orange with ice, maybe a straw, not measured, comes with aperitivo and is usually around €5-7 at bar sport, al bar, or bar alla stazione.
See if you can find one for €4 somewhere!?