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A century of Negroni, the most famous cocktail of Florence

Posted by GLflorence on November 27, 2019

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2019 has been a celebration period for Negroni, a famous Italian drink born in Florence exactly 100 years ago. A century hasn’t changed the recipe, and the Negroni we drink today is the same drank by Conte Negroni, its creator, who used to have 20 every single day. Here’s the whole story!

A hundred years of history 

2019 has been the centenary of Negroni. This drink was  born in Caffè Casoni, Florence, thanks to Conte Camillo Negroni who once asked to the barman and friend Folco Scarselli to change the cocktail he was used to drink. The fashion at the time was, indeed, to mix bitter and red vermouth. Conte Negroni asked to make it a little stronger by adding some gin, that he was used to drink when in London. It’s from this random and simple request that our Negroni was born! People started, indeed, to appreciate the new blend and asked a cocktail “alla maniera del Conte Negroni” (following Conte Negroni’s manner) over and over.   

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20 Negroni to begin, please

Yes, you read it right. Conte Negroni used to drink 20 or more glasses every day. How can a man drink 20 Negroni without feeling sick? Well, this number was found in a text written by Francis Harper, who suggested to the count not to drink more than 20 glasses per day. This means that he used to have a bit more than 20! We also need to say that at the time the cocktail was served in 3cl glasses in a smaller quantity than today. Legend says that the creator of this Florentine drink used to have 40 Negroni every single day!

 
 
 
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The original recipe and its variations

The original recipe is quite simple: Negroni is made with three ingredients, bitter, red vermouth and gin mixed together. If Florence is the place of its birth, its ingredients come from two other Italian cities, Milan and Turin. Negroni is therefore also the story of Campari, Martini and Cinzano. Vermouth’s creation is rooted in Piemonte, a region in the Northern part of Italy, thanks to two important companies: Cinzano and Martini & Rossi. Bitter is an invention of the North too, Milan to be precise. Gaspare Campari is the creator of the namesake company, whose product is also used to create a variation of Spritz (Spritz Campari). 

Talking about variation, we should mention Americano (Vermouth, Campari and soda), usually drank in Lombardy and Piemonte. Another drink we should talk about is Negroni Sbagliato, invented in the 60’s at Bar Basso in Milan by Mirko Stocchetto, a bartender who accidentally put Brut spumante instead of gin. 

Italy is famous for having good food and amazing wine, but cocktails are part of our culture too. Have you ever tasted Negroni or Spritz? Contact our tailor-made section to plan your holidays in Italy and taste some traditional deliciousness! 

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