a Negroni cocktail history lesson

Negroni 101 – in its birthplace – Florence, Italy


it’s no secret. i love my cocktails and i’ve been having a love affair with Negronis for some time now. little did i know, i was traveling to its homeland, the location of the creation of my cocktail of choice, this past fall. when i walked into the Atrium Bar at Four Seasons Florence, i had no clue i’d be learning Negroni history and sample tastings that evening. boy was i in for a major treat getting to experience it first hand.

so, there i was in a loungy bar in the beautiful Four Seasons Florence being served by the handsome, Luca, head bartender and winner of the prestigious “Italian Barman of the Year 2012”. not too shabby for a cocktail lover. to top it off, this ultra cool bar also has its own Negroni cart where they mix you whatever Negroni version you prefer right there at your table side. LOVE!

negroni cart

while Luca did his mixing magic he told the story of how Negroni was born in Florence in 1920. at that time, the cocktail ‘Americano’ was very popular. a particular Italian playboy, Count Camillo Negroni, wanted the barman at Cafe Casoni to add gin to the concoction & thus, the drink took on the name Negroni.


now for the fun stuff. ‘Americano’ is 1/2 Campari & 1/2 vermouth. Negroni is 1/3 gin, 1/3 Campari & 1/3 vermouth. Luca didn’t mix-master any old typical Negroni, however, he made 3 versions.

ONE was known as Old Style, a variation of Negroni using the oldest products out there. Beefeater Gin from 1820, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth from 1786 & China Clementi Bitter from 1884, garnished with an orange peel.

two negroni

TWO was called Valentino and is a combination of Hendricks Gin, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth & Campari, garnished with a cucumber slice and an orange peel.

one negroni

THREE was Camillo, the namesake of the inventor, made with gin, white port & Prato Vermouth, garnished with an orange slice and caper berries.

three negroni

A note of thanks to Four Seasons Florence for hosting my Negroni history lesson & tasting as well as other cocktail treats and eats. my taste buds were delighted and if i didn’t ‘Lola Approve’ it i’d say otherwise. the views here are mine, grazie! lola_blackpink


Filed under cocktails, florence, travel

30 Responses to a Negroni cocktail history lesson

  1. I didn’t like Negronis until Luca made them. Thanks for reminding me of this fab experience.
    Leah Travels recently posted…My Top 10 Dishes from @FourSeasons EuropeMy Profile

  2. Great pictures and great history lesson. I always love knowing more about classic cocktails especially when you can still incorporate classic ingredients into the mix.
    John recently posted…How to make The Irish Flag Shot via Tipsy BartenderMy Profile

  3. All 3 sound awesome! May have to experiment here at home! I am pretty sure we have all the ingredients! Mind you, a sample in Florence may be better!
    Anita Mac recently posted…Lights. Camera. Dance: IglooFest Montreal – the outdoor winter party!My Profile

  4. OMG, can you believe I have never had one? Needs to be corrected.. can we go to Florence again?
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted…A lux weekend in Amsterdam by @sabinedewitteMy Profile

  5. MY kind of post – I might have to whip myself up a drink now xx
    Scarlett recently posted…Sloth Obsessed…My Profile

  6. These look fab! I may have to make them for my Oscar party!
    Charu recently posted…Custom Blending Your Own Wine in Sonoma ValleyMy Profile

  7. i’d try the old style if I joined you in florence…when drinking in such a historic city, it’s all about keeping it old school.

    but do tell me you finished all three?

    stay drinking, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted…A Beach with History, the Petroglyphs of Las LabradasMy Profile

    • of course i finished all 3! i believe in waste not.

      it would be SO FUN to drink an ‘Old Style’ Negroni with you in Florence, Stay Adventurous!!

  8. I was in Florence over the summer – wish I had known about these cocktails – the Camillo would have had my name on it for sure:)
    Fiona recently posted…Five Dublin Film Locations from OnceMy Profile

  9. Prepare to be shocked…I’ve never had a Negroni. I know, I know….I just got around to trying Pimm’s thanks to Mrs. O, this is next on my list:)
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted…A Gift From The Travel Gods And A Failure To Pay It ForwardMy Profile

    • you know what’s interesting, DJ…i’m finding from this post that A LOT of people haven’t tried Negronis. they really do make a great aperitif or hangover cure the next day.

  10. Oh, I have to make the Captain read this. He recently got hooked on negronis. I haven’t had one yet but might have to try one if we make it to Florence!
    Tawny of Captain and Clark recently posted…An American’s guide to shopping in London.My Profile

  11. I have never had a negroni cocktail before, but they look fabulous.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Exclusive unique GoPro video from the Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathonMy Profile

  12. hmm we’ve never had a negroni before! perhaps we’ll save our very first try for whenever we make it back to florence?
    the lazy travelers recently posted…jetsetters: @abuttsyMy Profile

  13. This wine girl might be persuaded to try a cocktail like this – provided she’s in Italy, in that setting!! Where do I sign up? Yummy pics, Lola.
    Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted…Photo of the Week: A pier in Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaMy Profile

  14. Pingback: Four Seasons Toronto – The Brand’s Fabulous Flagship Hotel | where in the world is lola?

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