Photo by Melissa Zikos on Unsplash

Cupid may have his arrows, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, nothing beats an exotic love potion to set hearts ablaze. This Valentine’s Day add something special to the flowers and the chocolate -- offer up a signature drink for the guy or gal who’s got your heart.

For over a century, the Negroni has been a unique and refreshing cocktail with a bold worldwide reputation that has flourished in both classic and modern times.

Created in the early 1800s, Campari was elevated to international success through a truly romantic love story. Davide Campari fell wildly in love with one of Italy’s most celebrated opera singers of the 19th century, Lina Cavalieri. After Lina modeled for one of Campari’s renowned advertisements, Davide became so enamored with the young beauty that he decided to follow her on a global opera tour, setting up export markets around the world. Davide’s passion poised Campari to become a world popular and best-selling spirit, a position it still holds today.

Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

The Negroni was first created in the early 1900s by Count Camillo Negroni, a Florentine aristocrat. Camillo had asked the bartender to add some bite to his preferred cocktail, the Americano, a mixture of Campari and sweet Vermouth. With the addition of gin, a delicious classic was created and the Negroni became the eponymous Count’s new favorite.

Today, many others have experimented as the Count did, tinkering with the recipe to please their own palates and those of fellow Campari aficionados. Below is a sampling of Negronis from around the world. From the Bourbon & Branch bar in San Francisco to The Cuckoo Club of London, bartenders have continued to recognize the versatility of this spirit, updating this cocktail with their own signature twist.

Follow the evolution of the Negroni around the globe as Davide Campari once devotedly followed “the greatest beauty in the world.” Mix up one of these recommended recipes on your own, or try it for yourself if you’re in the right neighborhood.

Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to create your own personalized variation of the Negroni. If you’re already planning for Valentine’s Day, consider mixing in the passion of this distinctive spirit.


Bourbon & Branch
Recipe from Todd Smith

Classic Negroni

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
  • 1 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
  1. Pour ingredients over ice into a shaker.
  2. Shake and strain in a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist.


Pegu Club
Recipe from Chad Solomon

Cornwall Negroni (a tribute to Gary Regan)

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
  • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s Orange #6
  1. Hand crack ice and stir.
  2. Strain into a chilled coup.
  3. Flame an orange twist on top for garnish.


The Living
Recipe from Diego Boronat

Negroni Sbagliato

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
  • 1 oz Spumante Brut
  1. Pour Campari over ice in a rocks glass.
  2. Add other ingredients and stir.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice.


The Cuckoo Club
Recipe from Andreas Jansson

Negroni Twist

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
  • 1 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
  • 0.6 oz Rhubarb Syrup
  1. Pour ingredients over ice into a shaker.
  2. Shake and strain in a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with twist or orange and lemon.


Recipe from Yuka Yamamoto


  • 2/3 oz Campari
  • 2/3 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
  • 2/3 oz Disaronno
  • Blood Orange Juice
  1. Pour Campari over ice in a highball glass.
  2. Add other ingredients and stir.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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