One part Gin. One part Red Vermouth. One part Campari. Serve on the rocks with a twist of orange.
Its origins are unclear. Count Camillo Negroni is supposed to have asked his barman to replace the soda in his Americano with Gin. This was back in 1919. In Florence. A the Caffè Casoni.
The Negroni was a favourite of that wunderkind, Orson Welles, who tried it for the first time in 1947 and is supposed to have said in that marvellous fruity voice:
“The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”
Nice one, Mr Welles, and a great excuse to post a photograph from another all-time favourite, F For Fake, which includes a hilarious sequence at La Méditeraneé, Paris: Orson holding court on Modern European Art, surrounded by an entourage of giggly and extremely pretty girls.
I'm a massive fan of Orson, and not just because of his tacky advertising campaigns (Paul Masson, California Carafe "we will sell no wine before its time"). His 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast was terrific in the true meaning of the word. Would I have joined the panicking hordes, as they fled their cities from alien invasion? Quite possibly.