, Gloucester, MA


August 7, 2013

Italian aperitif balances sweet and bitter

The Negroni is a classic Italian aperitif, a cocktail traditionally served before a meal to stimulate appetite.

Legend has it that the Negroni dates to Florence, Italy, in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by substituting gin for soda water, creating a more potent cocktail. It was dubbed “the Negroni” after its creator and was instantly successful.

In 1947, Orson Welles himself wrote of the Negroni: “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” Additionally, the sweetness of the vermouth complements the bitters, resulting in a balanced drink that is instantly satisfying.

Mixologist Zach Wilks crafts the perfect Negroni simply by pouring equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth over ice, stirring, straining into a fresh glass and adding an orange slice.



1 ounce gin

1 ounce Campari

1 ounce sweet vermouth

1 cup of ice


Pour the gin, Campari and vermouth over ice. Stir for 30 seconds.

Strain drink and pour over fresh glass of ice.

Garnish with orange and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of Zach Wilks,, 2013.

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