This is alleged to have been invented in Florence by Count Negroni, who asked the bartender at the Hotel Baglioni to strengthen his Americano with a spot of gin, but no one knows if this is actually true. Orson Welles was one of the first Americans to write about it, saying ‘the bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other out’. James Bond orders one in the short story Risico. So consider it a drink endorsed by proper drinkers.
20 ml (¾ fl oz) gin
20 ml (¾ fl oz) Campari
20 ml (¾ fl oz) red vermouth
a slice or a twist of orange, to garnish
Pour the gin, Campari and red vermouth over 3–4 ice cubes in a tumbler. Stir the alcohols together until they are very cold. Garnish with a slice or twist of orange, ideally a blood orange.
KAY’S TIP: if you replace the gin with prosecco, you get a Negroni Sbagliato, or a Wrong Negroni.
Make Mine a Martini by Kay Plunkett-Hogge is available here.