According to legend it was a day like any other in 1919 Florence, Italy when Count Camillo Negroni, tired of his usual Americano, a Campari-based cocktail. One way to get a bigger kick from his drink, he reasoned, was to replace the soda water with gin. The bartender at Caffe Casoni obliged, added an orange garnish and, presto, a legend was born.
The aperitif was such a hit that Negroni set up a distillery to knock up ready-made concoctions of the cocktail, a rather forward-thinking idea that predated the arrival of pre-mixed Cruisers and Breezers by several decades.
Orson Welles was a fan, famously reasoning that “the bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” That reasoning is had to argue with.
20mL sweet vermouth
1 fresh orange peel
In a rocks glass, pour in the gin, add some ice, stir. Pour in the vermouth, add some ice, stir. Pour in the Campari, add some ice and stir until diluted. Express the orange peel over the glass and drop it in.