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The Complete History Of The Negroni Cocktail

April 7, 2020 by Jonathan Paxley

What Is A Negroni?

So, is a Negroni a cocktail I order to make it look like I know what I’m asking for when ordering a drink at a cocktail bar?

Well frankly, the answer to this is yes, but it’s not the only reason you would order one of the most famous cocktails in the world.

It’s classic taste and the fact it’s hard to screw up making it has made the Negroni relevant for over 100 years.

Made with equal measures of Gin, Campari and Vermouth, the Negroni is classed as an apéritif, but people all over the world enjoy this famous cocktail at any (socially acceptable..that’s up to you) time of the day.

Created to be sipped, the Negroni is a well-balanced concoction which has really stood the test of time. In fact, its so popular we have created a ready to drink Negroni here.

The History

As per many cocktail innovations, there are a couple of stories about where and when this famous cocktail was created.

The most common story is the Negroni was created by Count Camillo Negroni, when he requested bartender Fosco Scarselli at Caffè Casoni to create a stronger version of his favourite cocktail, an Americano.

Legend has it Count Negroni requested for the soda the be replaced with gin. There was also a change of the garnish to orange to complement the ingredients within the cocktail.

So, a Negroni is a hybrid/ spin on an Americano. With his new creation, Count Negroni then travelled to USA (his actual job and whether he was actually even a Count is part of the debate…if he wasn’t fair play for getting away with that) where the drink then spread to the masses (without social media – impossible i hear you cry….)

From this point it became a classic.

But hold up….new investigations have found this story may not be entirely correct.

Modern advances in family descendants and historical information state the Negroni originated in Senegal, Africa. How the hell did someone in Senegal get their hands on a bottle of Campari?!

New information states that Pascal Negroni created the cocktail half a century before Count Camillo Negroni’s spin on an Americano.

Around the 1870’s, whilst fighting in war, during high ranking military “meetings”, Pascal Negroni would created some of his signature Vermouth based cocktails, which is now believed to be the original Negroni.

All good cocktail bartenders will know the stories and come up with some spin on the above. But rest assured, ask your favourite mixologist for a Negroni, and you won’t be disappointed (disclaimer…its possible you might be disappointed)


Americano – This is where it started from (if you believe Count Negroni’s tale)

The White Negroni – British Mixologist Wayne Collins created this spin on a Negroni, replacing Vermouth and Campari with Lillet Blanc and Suze.

Boulevardier – The same basics of the cocktail, but you simply replace Gin with Whisky. Check out the recipe here.

Agavoni – As per the Boulevardier, the same basics of the cocktail occur, but you replace the Gin with Tequila.

Aperol Spritz – Not necessarily a variation of the Negroni, an Aperol Spritz is a cousin of the Negroni, and has enjoyed a huge upturn in popularity recently.

Happy sipping Negroni lovers. To see how to make a world beating Negroni click here.


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