History of the Negroni

Created in Florence in 1919, the quintessential cocktail was named after Count Camillo Negroni, who devised the recipe and requested his bartender to create it.

To strengthen the Count’s favourite cocktail, the Americano, Negroni asked Fosco Scarselli to replace soda water with a splash of London dry gin, something he had grown fond of during a recent trip to the UK. Scarselli, a Tuscany native and the man behind the bar at Caffè Casoni, swapped the lemon slice for an orange garnish, completing the stunning red aperitif that quickly became fashionable in Milan, Rome and around the world.

The Negroni is loved by legends including Ernest Hemingway, who named one of his dogs after the cocktail, James Bond, who enjoyed the cocktail in the movie ‘For Your Eyes Only,’ as well as fans Audrey Hepburn and Anthony Bourdain.

Start building your Negroni with quality cubed ice, before pouring equal parts Sweet Red Vermouth, a premium gin (Bulldog is recommended), and of course, Campari, the true heart of the Negroni. Serve in vintage glassware, garnish with orange zest and enjoy.

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the Grand Canyon’s designation as a National Park and the creation of the Negroni might not appear to have a lot in common – but they’re all celebrating 100 years in 2019.

Though the world was a very different place in 1919, the popularity of the Negroni cocktail has never waned. Created in Florence and named after a Count, the iconic drink has become part of a superior set of cocktails and is listed in the IBA ‘Unforgettable Drinks List’, otherwise known as the bartender’s bible. The cocktail consists of just three perfectly balanced ingredients – and while the London dry gin and sweet red vermouth may be customized, there is no Negroni without Campari (check out the boxout to see how to make the perfect cocktail).

In 2013, Imbibe Magazine launched Negroni Week – a seven-day celebration to raise money for charities around the world simply by enjoying the classic cocktail. In the years since, Negroni Week has grown from 120 participating venues to 100,000 and 87 countries – including Canada. Participating for the past five years, Canada is consistently ranked in the top five global sign-ups and money donated, raising over $17,000 in 2018 alone.

 

Cocktail Crawling

From specially curated Negronis to bar crawls and food deals, here are our top spots to hit up during Negroni Week, June 24-30.

The east end will be hosting a Negroni Week Block Party on June 30 – but if you live on the west side of town, you can create your own bar crawl.

With venues like Il Covo and Harry's Charbroiled participating in Negroni Week, there's something to suit every vibe. Hit up bars like Salumi, or Gigglewater for their $3 Negroni shot, before finishing up at Mahjong for a Negroni from their very special fountain (check out our recipe below).

 

Creating a Stir

Toronto’s top bars share their cocktail recipes so you can make their spins on the classic Negroni at home.