What do the Wild West, an Italian Count and one of CROSSIP’s most beloved non-alcoholic cocktails have in common?
Prepare yourself for the glamorous story behind this herbaceous red nectar and learn how it has evolved from a cowboy’s favourite tipple to a gentleman’s drink and all the way smack bang into the 21st century as a non-alcoholic Negroni.
We’ll explore its origins as a cocktail, the ingredients used to create it, how it’s traditionally served, and our favourite non-alcoholic Negroni recipe for you to try at home.
Here we go!
What is Negroni?
An Italian apéritif made from equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari bitters and served with an orange twist or slice. It’s said to stimulate an appetite, which makes it a popular cocktail to enjoy before a meal.
Does Negroni contain alcohol?
The only thing not alcoholic about a traditional Negroni is the orange peel or slice! This bitter cocktail contains gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari bitters, which are all alcoholic. The Negroni is not a cocktail that feigns innocence or sugarcoats itself to disguise the taste of its alcoholic ingredients. We wouldn’t go as far as saying this is the strongest cocktail you’ll ever have but it’s certainly up there as one of the booziest!
Nevertheless, non-alcoholic Negronis do exist; you can still experience the herbal bouquet and botanical bitterness without the booze. Simply keep scrolling or click here to skip to the non-alcoholic Negroni recipe.
Want to learn more about alcohol-free? Check out our Ultimate Guide to NoLo Drinking!
History of Negroni
Like many origin stories, the history of how a Negroni came to be could be but mere fabrication. Nevertheless, most historians agree that the following story is pretty accurate…
Once upon a time, there was a nobleman known as Count Camillo Negroni. After earning a living as a Rodeo Cowboy and Riverboat Gambler in America, he had returned to his home country of Italy.
Whilst visiting Cafe Casoni in Florence, he requested his favourite Americano cocktail (vermouth, Campari, and soda water), perhaps to hark back to his heady days across the Atlantic Ocean. However, the Count asked that the cocktail be made a little stronger. The friendly bartender, Fosco Scarselli, gladly obliged and switched the soda water for gin. In addition, he used orange instead of the usual lemon slice to mark the cocktail as unique.
And thus, the Negroni was born.
Soon after, the drink became legend and people flocked to the bar to try this masterful cocktail. The Count’s family were quick to jump upon its success and established the Negroni Distillery, which is still in operation today.
Who likes to drink Negroni?
The Negroni is classed as a sophisticated drink and has oft been imbibed by gentlemen through the ages. Nowadays, it’s enjoyed by all sorts of people and the bitter cocktail has seen a huge surge in popularity. It’s even available to buy in a can at your local newsagents or on the train! And the non-alcoholic Negroni is experiencing a similar trend - the BBC has listed it as one of the best ever mocktails for every occasion.
Nevertheless, the alcoholic and non-alcoholic Negronis have strong herbaceous flavours due to the Campari and the alcohol-free botanicals respectively. For some, this herbal bitterness is an acquired taste. According to Italians, Campari only begins to taste nice the third time you drink it...
When to drink Negroni
The Negroni is a popular apéritif, which is an alcoholic drink taken before a meal in order to stimulate the appetite. In other words, it’s a sort of dry liquid appetiser to prepare the pallet. Of course, if you drank an alcoholic Negroni before breakfast, you might not last until lunch...so if you’re hoping to stimulate your appetite before noon, perhaps we can recommend a non-alcoholic Negroni instead?
Can you make non-alcoholic Negroni?
Whilst a traditional Negroni is entirely alcoholic, it is possible to make a non-alcoholic Negroni that rivals its boozy counterpart in aroma, taste, and body! So, if you want to experience that delightful Negroni bitterness mingled with tart and earthy flavours, try out our non-alcoholic Negroni recipe using our alcohol-free spirits below...
Non-alcoholic Negroni recipe
SIMPLE 1 2 3 4 5 VIRTUOSO
25ml CROSSIP Pure
25ml Rhubarb cordial
Garnish with an orange twist
STIR... Add all the ingredients to a Rocks glass. Add ice. Stir for 20 secs until combined.
Alternatively, if you’re not keen on rhubarb, try our classic non-alcoholic Negroni recipe