Classic Cocktails: The Negroni

The Negroni. Iconic, delicious, a danger to sobriety in any quantity and perfect in both the heat of summer or by a fire in the winter.

Tasting notes: Citrus, oranges, grapefruits, bitterness, a hint of wine, spices, cloves

"This is a really fine invention. It has the power, rare with drinks and indeed with anything else, of cheering you up." Kingsley Amis

Like any good story, there are a number of versions, all involving colourful characters of the 20th Century.

The most commonly accepted story is that the Negroni was invented in Florence in 1919, at the Caffe Casoni, at the request of the raffish Count Camillo Negroni. Born in Italy in 1868, the Count Negroni is reported to have lived in America, where he became a cowboy, adventurer, banker and gambler - although it is questionable whether he was actually a Count at all. He asked the barman to swap the soda in his Americano for gin. The barman dutifully aquiesced, and gave it a final twist in the substituting of the slice of lemon for a twist of orange peel and thus the Negroni was created. The other version is that the Negroni was invented in Africa, by Count Pascal Olivier de Negroni in 1857 in a bid to impress his bride.

Either way, where this drink lacks a solid origin story, it makes up for it in taste.

To make, you will need

Wheadon's Mandarin Lime and Hibiscus Gin

Sweet Vermouth


Twist of orange peel



Chilled short rocks glass


Pour equal parts of Wheadon's Mandarin Lime and Hibiscus Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Campari (approx. 25ml of each) in to a shaker and stir to mix. Fill a chilled short rocks glass with ice and pour over the mix and stir. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.


To purchase a bottle of Wheadon's Gin, or to commission a custom infusion, contact the distillery at the Bella Luce Hotel -

Written by:

Mat Hailer