A drink for your gut, Negroni is Italy’s answer to an apéritif. It is made with equal portions of gin, red semi-sweet vermouth, and Campari, and typically served on ice and with an orange peel as a garnish. Tanqueray No. Ten Negroni is a variation of Negroni made using the Tanqueray No. Ten gin. Since its launch in 2000, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin has become non-negotiable in gin-centric cocktails, much like Tanqueray's iconic London Dry Gin, first distilled nearly two centuries ago, in 1861 in London’s Bloomsbury district.
What sets Tanqueray No. Ten apart from its original iteration is its distinctive use of fresh whole citrus, a departure from the prevalent practice of using dried citrus peels in the production of gins. While a common misconception attributes the name "Tanqueray 10" to the number of botanicals in it, the reality is that the recipe retains all four foundational botanicals found in Tanqueray London Dry: juniper, coriander, angelica, and licorice. But Tanqueray No. Ten is also infused with another quartet of ingredients – white grapefruit, lime, orange, and the chamomile flowers.
The origins of the Negroni trace back to the vibrant setting of Florence's Caffè Casoni, a cafe recently brought back from the dead where one can still have a sip of the drink.
Legend has it that Count Camillo Negroni, a frequent patron of the establishment, once made a distinctive request to bartender Fosco Scarselli at Caffè Casoni. Instead of the customary addition of soda water to his regular Campari and vermouth mix, the Count opted for a generous pour of gin. The bartender, altering tradition, adorned the concoction with an orange twist rather than the usual lemon, giving rise to the birth of the Negroni cocktail.
It is also claimed that Negroni is a version of Americano, in which soda was used instead of gin. Americano was first served at Caffè Campari in Milan, during the 1860s. This libation is a direct evolution of the Milano-Torino, which combined Campari, the bitter liqueur originating from Milan, and Punt e Mes, the Turin-born vermouth.
Shortly thereafter, the Negroni clan started the Negroni distillery, crafting a pre-mixed version called the Antico Negroni 1919.
In 1947, the Negroni found patronage when Orson Welles, on a film assignment in Rome, shared his impressions of the drink. Welles observed that while the bitters work wonders for one’s liver, the gin carries its risks. “They balance each other,” he had said.
Several years later, in 1967, the drink re-emerged in Milan's Bar Basso. But this time, it was a sparkling twist on the original, called Negroni Sbagliato ("erroneous Negroni"). According to popular legend, a bartender mistakenly reached for a bottle of Prosecco, mistaking it for gin in the confusion of evening rush. The drink didn’t only satisfy the customer, but also went on to become an instant hit.
British mixologist Wayne Collins crafted the inaugural white Negroni in 2002. His innovation involved substituting Lillet Blanc and Suze for the customary sweet vermouth and Campari.
Only in eight years, the cocktail landscape witnessed the emergence of the Barrel-Aged Negroni, courtesy of Jeffrey Morgenthaler at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon.
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing jar.
Stir well with ice, strain and pour into an old-fashioned glass.
Garnish with an orange peel.