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November 19, 2020

The Negroni cocktail turns 100 years old

Its all Florentine history and where to go to drink it in the city

One third red martini, one third campari and one third gin. All served in an old style glass, with half a slice of orange.

The Negroni, the most Italian and aristocratic cocktail among the long drinks in the world, turns 100 years old. It is said that Negroni, the original one, was mixed for the first time at Caffè Casoni in Via de' Tornabuoni, which later became Caffè Giacosa.

Since the end of the nineteenth century, in the late afternoon in the Florentine cafés "the hour of vermouth" was the hour of vermouth for gentlemen, together with the hour of Bitter, which after a while followed the fashion of consuming a combination of Vermouth and Bitter still very much appreciated today, the Americano. It was the dawn of Negroni.

But just in via de' Tornabuoni, 83 one afternoon a century ago Count Camillo Negroni asked the legendary barman Fosco Scarselli to "strengthen" his Americano with a splash of gin instead of soda, adding to the drink the extraordinary and unmistakable bitter taste of juniper.

For a short time he became "an American in the manner of Count Negroni", but soon his name was simply Negroni.

Since then that ruby red cocktail has become a legend.

Where can you order the best Negroni in Florence? Gilli 1733 in Piazza della Repubblica. Behind the counter is Luca Picchi, considered the Maestro in the city, who also wrote a book about this legendary cocktail.

Or at the Atrium Bar - Four Seasons Hotel Firenze and it is here, in an Atrium Bar topped by an elegant glass pyramid, that Four Seasons Hotel Firenze has its ace up its sleeve in terms of mixologist and Negroni: his name is Edoardo Sandri.

An address that is hard to miss, a historic café that maintains its exclusive charm. The vital hub of Piazza della Signoria, at Rivoire you can taste the Negroni in a philological version and in various variations. The bartender Elisa has her masterpieces: Negroni in a classic version.

Mirrors, soft lights, details from the 40s, a turntable that sings a few classics. In Piazza San Pancrazio Manifattura is the right place for those in search of lost emotions. Fabiano will guide the helm towards a sea of nostalgic pearls all to savour. Order a Negroni.

A few steps from Piazza della Passera, Ditta Artiginale is a post-war building by Michelucci. Like a box of beauty that looks to '60s and '70s design, cafeteria, microtower, kitchen, cocktail and gin bar. Don't miss their Negroni made with Peter in Florence, the new gin in Florence.

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