Pleasure / May 2019

Long Live the Negroni: 100 Years of the Crimson Cocktail

A century since its fateful inception, the simple yet spirituous Negroni endures as a cocktail menu mainstay. The Connaught Bar’s Giorgio Bargiani talks us through the history, cultural significance and enduring relevance of the much-loved Italian aperitivo.

Like many, I consider the Negroni to be my favourite drink. Wonderfully refreshing, bracingly bitter and packing a punch, it has become my tipple of choice, my go-to for any time of the evening, whether sipped slowly and civilly as the sun goes down, or imbibed uninhibitedly into the night, inevitably preceding questionable dance moves and a sore head the next day.

Despite my penchant for the Negroni, I’ve never thought to question its origins or history, instead spending years ordering a drink I knew little about. I’ve even gone so far as to host ‘Negroni nights’, charming guests with my over-enthusiastic pours and artfully twisted orange peel garnish, all the while ignorant of the drink’s rich heritage and important cultural significance. Sacrilege, I know.

When I learnt that this year marks a century since the Negroni’s first pour, I decided to consult an expert to learn more about the drink’s origins, evolution and burgeoning popularity. Who better to ask than Tuscan-born Giorgio Bargiani, Head Bartender at London’s iconic Connaught Bar, for whom the Negroni represents the epitome of Italian culture, intrinsically tied to family, festivities and ‘la dolce vita’...



Aobh O'Brien-Moody

Editorial Assistant at The Rake