Ah, the Negroni. The cocktail so good Ernest Hemingway named one of his nine dogs down in Havana after it. It’s an absolute classic drink — every bartender worth her salt has mastered it and every barfly has learned to love it.
Negronis are devilishly simple to make with only five ingredients — gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, ice, and an orange twist. Yet, measure the ratios wrong, fail to mix well, or, even worse, don’t use all of that amazing orange zest oil from the twist and you’ll have made Papa spin in his grave.
This bitter, sweet, and gin-forward drink is all about flavor. It’s a punch in the mouth from a botanical garden, grown in some sunny outpost where the temperature never drops below 50 degrees. Its sweetness hides the considerable alcoholic content that comes from three separate spirits mixed to perfection. This is a drink that activates receptors on your tongue, enlivening your palate.
A Negroni changes how you taste, how you drink, hell, how you live. And this is its story: