Florence and The Negroni

Ponte Vecchio Over The Arno River, Florence

Image 1Italians have mastered the delicate balance of Just Enough.  They are able to push right to the line that blurs gaudy and good taste.  (This is why they are among the most fashionable humans on the planet, yes?)  The Negroni is no different.  It is, as is much Italian fashion, bold, yet somehow simplistic, colorful yet classic,  clean and vibrant at once.

Yes.  The Negroni is an Italian original through and through.  One of the best parts about this drink it that is truly is a triumvirate of taste.  Each one of the three components is played off the others.  Made with equal parts of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, the Negroni takes three liquors that can stand well enough on their own, and somehow make them…..better.  Elevated.

The legend of the Negroni originates in Florence.  She is one of the city’s greatest contributions to the world.  The story goes that Fosco Scarselli, the bartender at the Caffe’ Casoni, obliged the Count Camillo Negroni when he asked him to add more of a punch to his cocktail, the Americano.  (Don’t you think they should call it the Scarselli?  He was gipped!)  Scarselli changed out the soda water and instead, substituted it with gin, creating the first Negroni.  Garnished with a bit of orange it becomes a metaphor for the Arno River at sunset.  It is dark with color.  It has shimmers of light and it is rich and deep.   In fact, sunset is the best time to enjoy a Negroni.  It is a true Italian Aperitivo, designed to open the palate to prepare you for the dinner that will follow.  Don’t go to Florence, (or any part of Italy for that matter) without having a Negroni.  Once you’ve had one there, each time you enjoy that unique flavor anywhere else in the world, you will be in Italy again.

 

The author and a Florentine Negroni

The author and a Florentine Negroni

 Negroni Recipe

  • 2 ounces of Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 ounces of gin
  • 2 ounces of Campari, (or any type of bitters)
  • orange wedge

Combine the liquor into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake well.  Serve immediately over ice with the orange garnish.