An obscure drink once beloved by Orson Welles, Ernest Hemmingway, and other globetrotting artists, today the Negroni is one of the most consumed cocktails in the world.

By Meghan Overdeep
June 28, 2019
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After decades spent languishing in relative obscurity, the Negroni is experiencing a comeback just in time for its 100th birthday.

For the uninitiated, a classic Negroni is basically a strong mix of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and an Italian bitter aperitivo (traditionally Campari). More often than not, it comes garnished with an orange peel. A lot of people would call it an “acquired taste.”

A drink once beloved by Orson Welles, Ernest Hemmingway, and other globetrotting artists, today it is one of the most consumed cocktails in the world. In fact, according to The New York Times, the Negroni is the most successful mixed drink ever to come out of Italy.

In 2018, the Negroni was the second most ordered cocktail in the world—surpassed only by the old-fashioned—according to a Drinks International poll of more than 100 bars. The reason? Young bartenders are big fans of the drink that’s nearly impossible to mess up.

Because it has relatively few ingredients, it’s also perfect for experimenting. As the Times points out, mezcal, aquavit, rum and even bourbon have been substituted for gin in recent years. Some bars even serve them frozen.

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Love them or hate them, the Negroni is about as classic as cocktails come. So, cheers to 100 more years!

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