One of the first mentions of the Negroni in popular culture was the Orson Welles reference in 1947 while he was working in Rome on Black Magic (an uncredited directorial venture). He described what was then a new drink. He famously said “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” My first brush with the Negroni was a few hours away from Rome. It wasn’t an upscale bar; actually, it wasn’t even a bar but at an Airbnb in Florence. My enthusiastic host who proved to be more resourceful and informative than any guidebook or online forum on Florence gave me what he called a taste of Florence.

No backstory is without its share of controversies and counterclaims, the Negroni story is no exception. The Negroni story goes back to 1919, to the Caffe Casoni (then called Caffe Giacosa) where it was first mixed on the instructions of Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni (A French General).

My host told me that Count de Negroni asked the bartender to strengthen his favourite cocktail – the Americano by adding gin instead of soda water. The bartender also switched the garnish from the traditional lemon used for an Americano with an orange. Almost a hundred years later (in 2013) Campari partnered with Imbibe Magazine to launch Negroni Week in September. This week-long celebration for one of the world’s most iconic cocktails has raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes around the world. Since then, Negroni Week has grown from about 120 participating venues to thousands of venues around the world. I was at one of these venues (The Oberoi Bengaluru) where the hotel’s popular bar – Jockey Club, curated a menu with four versions of the Negroni. It was the classic Negroni that wowed me; yet again.

(Also Read: Watch: Thai Hotel Makes Largest Negroni Cocktail; Breaks World Record)


Negroni is a much-loved cocktail recipe that can be easily made at home too.

The Negroni is one of the most famous Italian cocktails due to its appearance, taste and ease of its preparation. The Negroni is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, making its concoction easily comprehensive for both bartending pros and beginners. According to the team at Campari India, cocktail fans in India have taken to the bittersweet Campari, the key ingredient of Negroni. Campari doesn’t just add its strong red colour but also allows mixologists to build on it with their own tweaks.

According to Ruchika Gupta, Managing Director – Beam Suntory India, the Negroni revival is part of a wider resurgence of classic cocktails and the rise of gin in India. Ruchika believes that gin’s ability to enhance a wide range of flavour characteristics gives it an edge in the creation of cosmopolitan cocktails. With experimentation and DIY culture at an all-time high, consumers and bartenders are exploring such concoctions for multiple experiences. The India gin story has also seen the emergence of homegrown gin brands like Stranger & Sons and Greater Than. The classic Negroni remains one of my favourite cocktails, especially as an afternoon option. I’ve played around with it – I even tried a version where I combined Rooh Afza with Campari for another spin on the bittersweet play. You can try one of these recipes if you want a break from the Classic Negroni.

Hot Negroni

Recipe courtesy – Sipsmith


  • 25ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • Red berry tea
  • Dehydrated orange (optional)

Method: Pour the first three ingredients into a mug and stir. Top with hot red berry tea. Garnish with a dehydrated orange or a fresh orange slice

Glassware: Tea Cup

Garnish: Dehydrated orange or a fresh orange slice

(Also Read: 5 Of The Best Rum Cocktails For Your Next House Party)


Negroni Sipsmith is a refreshing Negroni recipe.

Negroni – Sipsmith

Recipe courtesy – Sipsmith

Bracingly bitter, herbaceously complex – yet still refreshing, this Negroni recipe will soothe your palette


  • 25ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • 25ml Campari
  • Orange twist (to garnish)
  • Cloves, to garnish (optional)

Method: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add all the ingredients to the mixing glass and stir 20-25 times. Strain into an ice-filled Rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist, studded with cloves

Glassware: Rocks glass

Garnish: orange twist, cloves


Japanese Negroni can be made with just three ingredients.

Japanese Negroni

Recipe courtesy – Roku


  • 30ml Roku Gin
  • 15ml Umeshu
  • 15ml Campari

Method: Build in glass over a large ice cube.

Glassware: Old Fashioned / Rocks

Garnish: Orange twist

Roku Negroni

Recipe courtesy – Roku


  • 50ml Roku Gin
  • 10ml Bitter liquor
  • 10ml Vermouth
  • 10ml Sakura cordial

Method: Combine and stir. Garnish with an orange peel

Glassware: Old Fashioned / Rocks

Garnish: Orange peel

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