Who can resist a beautiful, ruby-hued Negroni? Apparently, no one: Its Instagram hashtag has well over a half-million posts; it’s the second best-selling classic cocktail in the world for five years running, according to an annual survey by “Drinks International”. But what is it about this classic Italian drink that has won people over worldwide? Here are six facts about this time-honored cocktail.


1. It’s Over a Century Old


In 2019, this triple-ingredient icon reached the centenarian mark. The Negroni was created in Italy, likely in the early 1900s. The story goes, Count Camillo Negroni asked a bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano—created using vermouth, an Italian liqueur and club soda—and the Negroni was [born].”


Negroni cocktail with a 3/4 angle view. one large ice cube sits in a thin-glassed tumbler. a large wide angled swath of orange peel sits on the cocktail's ice cube.


2. It’s an Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktail


At its core, the Negroni is about three ingredients: gin, sweet vermouth and a bittersweet liqueur —a genius bit of simplicity that also happens to make it a breeze to mix for happy hour at home. The Negroni is a classic for a reason. Following the rule of thirds, it’s one of the easiest cocktails to vary and create fun riffs on.




3. It Has Launched a Thousand Variations


Tweaking one or more of the Negroni’s ingredients may offend purists, but it’s an easy and popular approach to creating twists on the versatile classic. From old classic drinks, like the Boulevardier (sub bourbon or rye for gin), to new inspirations like the Negroni Bianco that uses bianco vermouth instead of sweet rosso, the Negroni-inspired hits keep coming.


4. It’s a Drink of Equal Parts—Normally


A third, a third, a third—that’s the standard recipe to remember for a perfectly standup Negroni. But with a little extra gin lends more botanicals and alcohol; stirred with ice, it further tempers the sweetness of the vermouth, soothes the edges of an Italian aperitif and makes the cocktail even brighter.


5. Your Gin Choice Matters


Not that you would, but for the love of Count Camillo, don’t use cheap gin. A Negroni does not necessarily depend on the [gin’s] ingredients or alcohol levels or viscosity. It’s all about the quality of production, which affects the botanicals and overall resulting gin. It's also common to favor a gin with some unusual notes for the drink. A popular choice is a London dry with a ton of spice, which bridges the gap between the bitterness of the Italian aperitif and the sweetness of vermouth.