The Negroni’s origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, when it was first created at Cafe Casoni in Florence. Legend has it that when Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend, bartender Forsco Scarselli, to strengthen his favourite cocktail, The Americano (a simple combination of sweet vermouth, bitter aperitif liqueur and sparkling water), by swapping gin to sparkling water. Scarselli added an orange wedge, rather than the lemon typically served with an Americano. Before long, everyone was visiting Casoni for the legendary Negroni.
In the late 1940s, the Negroni started to spread around the world. Orson Welles, an American actor tried one whilst filming in Rome and is known to have said “the bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other out.” The comment was published in newspapers around the world. Bars around the globe began making the coveted cocktail.
In the late 1960s, the first variation of the Negroni was accidentally made. Bar Basso in Milan is known to have invented the Negroni Sbagliato, which translates to ‘Mistaken Negroni”.
Sbagliato is a sparkling version of the Negroni, made with prosecco instead of gin. Legend has it, that someone ordered a Negroni during the busy “aperitivo hour” and the bartender grabbed a bottle of Prosecco instead of a bottle of gin. The customer loved the mistake and with that the Negroni Sbagliato became a sensation.
In 2019, the Negroni celebrated its centenary. Today, the Negroni is simply the one. One of the most consumed cocktails in the world, one of the most successful drinks to be invented in Italy and one of the most ordered drinks around the globe. You can either like a Negroni, or love a Negroni!
Our Primo Aperitivo range is a celebration of the Negroni’s history and its heritage. Primo Negroni is available to order now, with Primo Sbagliato and Primo Americano being released later this year to complete the family.