History of the Negroni: Count Negroni

The Negroni, and its cousin the Aperol Spritz, is the “it” cocktail right now. But just what is it and where did it come from?

It all starts with the creation of Campari in Italy in 1860. The inventor, a cafe owner in Novara, Italy, infused fruit and a secret spice blend into alcohol to create this now-famous liquor. The drink became popular, with most people adding sweet vermouth to lessen the bitterness of the original drink.

Americans coming to fashionable Milan in the early 20th century also took to the drink but preferred their aperitifs with soda water. The resulting concoction became known as an Americano. Cue Count Camillo Negroni.

In 1920 Negroni was at his favorite Florentine cafe when he asked the bartender to make his Americano stronger. The bartender switched out the soda for gin and the result was what we know as the classic Negroni.

Today there are many versions and derivatives of this favorite drink. Our preferred variation is to switch out the gin for, you guessed, Tequila (specifically our Añejo). Try our own Jalisco Negroni for the Tequila twist.

Salud!

Flor Delice Cocktail by Alex Smith

San Francisco Chronicle’s 2011 Bar Star, Alex Smith

Check out our favorite monthly recipe created by Alex Smith,
winner of SF Chronicle’s 2011 Bar Star Award.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz. Tres Agaves Reposado

1 oz. Manzanilla Sherry

1/4 oz. Maraschino

1/4 oz. St. Germain

2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters

French maraschino cherry, for garnish

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Stir vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a very good quality French maraschino cherry.