The Negroni was created in Florence, Italy sometime in the late teens or early twenties of the Twentieth Century at Caffè Casoni by a bartender called Fosco Scarselli. It was made for Count Cammillo Negroni.
Negroni was, by most accounts, a bit of a playboy and had spent time travelling after fathering an illegitimate child, even ending up at one point as a cattle rancher in Canada. He moved back to Florence in 1912 and began frequenting the bars on the scene where he became friends with Scarselli. A popular drink at the time was the Americano which was. Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water, Negroni started asking for his with gin in place of the soda and a Classic was born.
The classic recipe calls for equal measures of the three ingredients.
30ml King of Soho Gin
30ml Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
Stir and strain into a tumbler filled with cubed ice
Garnish with a slice of orange.
The Negroni is an excellent aperitivo, it is dry and complex and it perhaps a little too bitter for the casual imbiber. One additional ingredient which can make this drink sing is a dash of saline solution (or a couple of grains of salt).
It is known amongst many cultures that adding a little bit of salt, or even using salty water in bitter coffee can make it more palatable. This ingredient can also be used very effectively in many types of cocktail. Even a tiny amount, way below the threshold of taste, can reduce the bitterness of a drink and also boost the sweetness and citrus elements of a cocktail.
That tiny amount of salt can even stimulate saliva production which can affect the perceived viscosity or richness of a drink and also strengthen aroma compounds.
Please note, if you can taste the salt, you have added too much – the drink should not pick up a salty flavour. To prevent oversalting, I prepare a saline solution and store it in a bitters bottle so I can just add a dash to each drink that would benefit from it.