There are few cocktails that are as synonymous with class as they are alcoholic. The Negroni is one of those few. The sweet and bitter combination of gin, Vermouth and Campari, served on the rocks with a twist of orange, is reputedly from Italy but its full origins are officially unknown, only adding to its mysterious allure.

The most widely reported story involves Florentian Count Camillo Negroni who in 1919, after deciding the traditional ‘Americano’ of Vermouth, Campari and soda water was not strong enough, asked his bartender to strengthen it a little. The soda water was omitted and replaced with gin, alongside an orange garnish instead of the usual lemon, to signify that this was a new drink.

Every bar has its own take on the classic, because of gin’s botanical elements and variables the flavour can differ between brands. From the Connaught in Mayfair to Frank’s Campari Bar on the top of a carpark in Peckham, the Negroni has weaved its way into every corner of drinking culture. But with its glamourous origins in Florence, the Negroni has also inspired a multitude of pop culture references, Futurist art and even Italian car design.

155 Bar & Kitchen and Clerkenwell London celebrated the Negroni for London Cocktail Week 2016 by hosting an evening withThe Life Negroni authors’ husband and wife team, Leigh and Nargess Banks.

They became enthralled with the cocktail after seeing someone sipping the bright red drink on the beach in Ibiza. After tasting it for themselves, they decided to go on a journey to discover the true allure of the Negroni and its role in our world.

The Life Negroni connects the history of the original cocktail and its journey as a muse across a multitude of cultural worlds from art and design, politics and movies to yachts, cars and fashion.

Featuring archive images, original art by Italian futurists, contemporary photographs and first-hand interviews with experts and aficionados, the book tells the compelling story of this classic cocktail and what it has come to represent.

Come and try our take on the classic Negroni at 155 Bar & Kitchen, with 50% off for happy hour 5pm to 9pm every day.

155 Bar & Kitchen’s expert mixologists have given us their exclusive recipe for the 155 Modern Negroni, a London take on the classic. Here’s the recipe for you to try at home. Don’t forget the ice!

25ml Portobello Road Gin

25ml Campari

25ml Regal Rogue Lively White

Pink grapefruit peel

Check out our special Christmas cocktail recipe to get into the festive spirit.

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