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First created for Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 at Florence's Café Casoni, the Negroni is actually predated by the Milano-Torino, a mix of bitter, barky Campari and sweet vermouth that evolved into the Americano. Around 1920, at his favorite Florentine bar, Negroni asked for something stronger, so the soda water was replaced with gin, and the Negroni was born. Today, it's a mixologist’s favorite play thing, with ingredients swapped for everything from mezcal to sherry.
Negroni Variations that you can make
The 19th-century Italian cocktail the Milano-Torino consisted of bitter Campari and Martini sweet vermouth. It is said that American travelers preferred their apéritifs with soda water, so the Milano-Torino with soda became known as the Americano.
This classic cocktail couldn't be simpler—it's simply even parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
The Contessa, a modern creation of John Gertsen, a bartender at Boston’s Drink, replaces two of the Negroni’s three ingredients: Campari is swapped for the lighter and more orangey Aperol and dry vermouth substitutes for sweet.
In this negroni variation, gin is swapped out for bourbon.
Replacing the Negroni's traditional sweet vermouth with Lillet and the Campari with Braulio, an herbal Italian amaro, gives this twist on the classic cocktail a rich amber hue and a pleasingly astringent edge.
This bubbly Negroni variation, whose name means “bungled,” was invented at Bar Basso in Milan in 1968 when a bartender accidentally put sparkling wine into the drink instead of gin. It is an excellent choice for a brunch cocktail.
In this negroni cousin, the gin is replaced with rye whiskey.
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