20CENT Style Happy Birthday Negroni
The Negroni is 100 years old
This year the famous Negroni cocktail celebrates its 100 years of existence. The story of this famous mix of Campari, red vermouth and gin, started in 1919 in Florence. For those who don’t know the story (I didn’t either), the legend says that one day, the count Camillo Negroni wanted to change things up at his local bar. Instead of ordering his usual Americano, he asked his bartender to replace the sparkling water with some gin. The bartender obliged and placed a slice of orange as a decorative finishing touch, to mark the difference with the Americano usually finished with a lemon slice. And so the “Count Negroni’s Americano” or “Americano with a dash of gin” was born. So there it was, the Negroni you know today.
The official ingredient
A little thing I learned recently as well is that the International Bartender Association (IBA) mentions the Campari as one of the official ingredients of the perfect Negroni. According to the association, the official ingredients are Campari, red vermouth and London Dry Gin.
For the hundred years of the cocktail, it is logical that the responsible of Campari jump on the opportunity and launch an international campaign. There is a movie titled Entering Red, which you’ll probably be able to see on YouTube. And obviously, the Negroni gets a leading role in it.
In Belgium, the Campari Negroni Competition will be organised. It’s a competition for Belgian bartenders who will be invited to bring their own personal views and touch to the famous Negroni. The final will take place in June. That same month, the Negroni Weekwill take place all over the world with activities meant to also support good causes.
If you ask me, the Count had a good idea 100 years ago. The Negroni is one of the few cocktails I appreciate when I have the opportunity, the other ones being the Whisky Sour and the Old Fashioned if you must know. But if you need to know everything, I also find that just a simple Campari on ice is a great drink.