The Origin of the Negroni

Posted by Kait Weir on

The Negroni is one of the world's oldest and most classic cocktails. If you haven’t yet tried a Negroni, you’re missing out on a pretty spectacular drink. This smooth, gin-based concoction has hundreds of variations on the market, including the newly popular Negroni Sbagliato, which swaps out the gin for prosecco. Join us as we explore the origins of the Negroni.

The History of the Classic Negroni

The most well-documented histories of the Negroni credit the drink's origin to one Count Camillo Negroni. Much like our own Uncle Tim, Camillo Negroni was a world traveler. The Count was also a fan of the Americano cocktail, which consists of bitters, vermouth, and soda water. He asked his bartending friend, Forsco Scarselli, to make him an Americano with gin. Scarselli replaced the Americano’s lemon garnish with an orange slice. Thus, the Negroni was born. 

Following the invention of the gin cocktail, the Negroni family decided to capitalize on its newfound success. They founded the Negroni Distillery in 1919 in Treviso, Italy, where they produced their own version of the drink, a ready-made cocktail named Antico Negroni. The distillery is still in operation today and is one of the most well-renowned Italian distillers of amaros, aperitifs, and liqueurs to date. 

Now, you’re probably wondering why on earth we are so fascinated by the Negroni. Well, it’s because of the duality of this Italian cocktail. The Negroni is both simple in composition and complex in flavor. On the nose, you’ll get hints of citrus and juniper from the bitter aperitif and gin. This cocktail is made with equal proportions of gin, a bitter aperitif, and red vermouth, giving it that signature red color. Our variation on the Negroni aims to stay as true to the original recipe as possible. We use our own curated vermouth that doesn’t have red food coloring or sugars in it to keep the ingredients as natural as possible. 

White Negroni Origin Story

In addition to the classic, we’ve also created our own variation of the White Negroni, which uses a sweet white vermouth and a refreshing white aperitif. The White Negroni was invented in 2001 by Wayne Collins. While traveling abroad for an international cocktail competition, Collins and accomplice Nick Blacknell found themselves escaping the heat of France in search of a Negroni. Blacknell suggested the two create Negronis using french ingredients, like wine-based aperitif Lillet Blanc, instead of the traditional Negroni ingredients. The White Negroni has been a hit ever since.

Sage Honeypot White Negroni Recipe

Now that we’ve explored the origins of the ever-popular Negroni together, let’s put a spin on this classic cocktail. Below is our recipe for the Sage Honeypot Negroni, our own light and refreshing variation on the white Negroni. 

Sage Honeypot White Negroni

2 ounces of Uncle Tim’s White Negroni

½ ounce of sage honey syrup

½ ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Sage Honey Recipe:

In a heatproof vessel, add fresh sage and 2 cups of the honey of your choice. To the vessel, add 2 cups of hot water. Let steep overnight and add to any cocktail.

Cocktail Recipe:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over ice to enjoy. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf. 

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