The Negroni is a simple drink that yields complex flavors. Drinking one makes you seem like you know what you’re doing—both in a bar and in your life. The classic cocktail has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years and ordering one will impress both your drinking buddy (your date; your coworker; your dad) and your bartender, since it’s one of just 30 cocktails on the International Bartenders Association’s Unforgettables list.
The recipe dates back to 1919-20 Florence, where Americano cocktails— apéritifs cut by water for tourists, who couldn’t stand the hallmark bitter taste—were all the rage. One evening a local Florentine, Count Camillo Negroni, asked for the Campari in his drink to be cut with something stronger. The bartender reached for gin and vermouth instead of water, and the rest is very drinkable history.
These days you can find a Negroni on just about every respectable cocktail menu. This summer, the Sardinian-themed café Epistrophy in New York’s NoLIta neighborhood boasts not one, but five variations.
“They’re refreshing and add a touch of vacation to any day,” explains the all-day café’s Head Bartender, Matteo Bassani.
Here are three of Bassani’s Negroni recipes so you can add a touch of vacation at home.
- 1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
- 1 oz Carpano Antica For mula
- 1 oz Campari
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with fresh ice for approximately 30 seconds, until very cold. Strain cocktail into a rocks glass with single large ice cube. Garnish with an orange wedge or peel.
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Lillet Blanc
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with fresh ice for approximately 30 seconds, until very cold. Strain cocktail into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
- 1 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with fresh ice for approximately 30 seconds, until very cold. Strain cocktail into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a dehydrated orange slice.