Your First Negroni?

NegroniI had my first Negroni, the now wildly popular cocktail of gin, red vermouth and bitters, at a bar in the Prati district of Rome in 1994. 

The man next to me had one hand on a red cocktail, the other on a woman who looked exactly like Italian actress Monica Vitti circa 1962.

I asked the bartender for one of each.

Please share with us the when/where/who-with of your first Negroni in the comments section below.

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Food critic and events leader Daniel Young is the "Young" behind young&foodish


  1. Louis Anthony Woodbine says:

    My first Negroni was also in Rome in a trendy and fun (not always compatible) bar behind Piazza Novona. A dimly lit bar area full of antiques and Rome’s bright young things pouring out into the cobbled street. The drink was so strong it put hairs on the chest! Although here they made it with Aperol not Campari (which do you prefer?) No licensed measurements there, thankfully! Great taste combinations of bitter and sweet, herbal and fragrant. Now I tend to go for its lighter an more frivolous ‘cousin’ the Negroni Sbagliato with Prosecco rather than gin as I handled knives for a living an can stay more focused on what comes after the drink!

  2. I’m a rather recent discoverer of the Negroni, only trying one for the first time during London Cocktail week in 2010. I was at a classic cocktails class at the Sipsmith Distillery with Jared Brown explaining the various conflicting histories of the drink and his experience of being caught out by it as a young bartender – using the “That’s a great drink, let me just check the proportions” line when you don’t know how to make a cocktail doesn’t work when the proportions in question are 1:1:1. Not being a fan of Campari and thinking that all vermouth was evil I wasn’t particularly enamoured by the idea of the drink, but I mixed it up (using even proportions rather than Jared’s suggested 1/2 a part of Campari for those who like a sweeter cocktail) and was surprised by how much I liked it. I now always have at least one bottle of sweet vermouth in the fridge (which I drink on ice when the mood takes me), experiment with Aperol/Campari and Punt e Mes/other vermouth mixes, and even fix up the occasional Americano if I’m out of gin. It was very much a gateway cocktail for me, leading to a whole word of herbal and less sweet spirits and liqueurs now being on my to-try list.

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