Hotel Baglioni, 1919*

  • 1.25 oz. Beefeater Gin (or other London Dry gin)
  • 1.25 oz. Campari
  • 1.25 oz. Martini Italian Sweet Vermouth

Build in a chilled rocks / old-fashioned glass over an oversized ice cube starting with gin, then vermouth, and then Campari. Stir gently. Express the orange peel over the glass and add as garnish.

*As simple as this classic cocktail is, its origins are a mystery.

This New York Times article credits a wealthy Florentine named Count Camillo Negroni who suggested making a boozier version of the Americano (a Campari-based drink) to bartender Fosco Scarselli at Hotel Baglioni in Florence around 1919.

Caffè Giacosa (known as Caffè Casoni between 1919 and 1920 and a mere 6-minute walk away from Hotel Baglioni) cites that Fosco Scarselli was their bartender and created the cocktail for Count Cammillo Negroni (spelled intentionally with 2 m’s) who frequented their establishment.

In an 1886 letter to his brother, General Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni writes about inventing a vermouth-based cocktail while he was stationed in the French colony of Saint Louis in Senegal, West Africa between 1855 and 1865 and how it was popular at the Lunéville Officers Club of Lorraine. Was the Negroni actually invented in Senegal rather than Italy? Read more facts gathered at Drinking Cup.

Juliet and Romeo

Violet Hour, Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

  • 2 oz Beefeater Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 3 drops Rose Water
  • 3 drops Angostura Bitters
  • 3 slices Cucumber
  • 3 sprigs Mint
  • Tiny pinch of salt

Muddle cucumber, mint and pinch of salt. Add rest of ingredients. Let sit for 30 seconds (time allowing). Shake. Strain. Garnish with 1 floating mint leaf and 1 drop rose water on top of leaf, and 3 more drops of angostura on the surface of the drink.

Found at the Bradstreet Crafthouse in Minneapolis, the Patterson House in Nashville and the Rickhouse in San Francisco, this Violet Hour signature drink deserves to be in your house. An interesting article on the Toby Maloney and his influence on the cocktail culture across the country can be found on

Photo courtesy of Jen Chan. Read and see more pictures of the Violet Hour on her site,

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Root Down

H. Harper Station (closed as of April 1st, 2016), Reynoldstown, Atlanta, GA

An ode to the Beastie Boys as it is named after their song, “Root Down.” Also, on the label of the Salers Gentiane Apéritif is the phrase in French, “Fière de ses racines” which translates to “Always proud of its roots.”

  • 1 1/2 oz Aviation Gin (or Plymouth)
  • .5 oz Salers Gentiane Apéritif
  • .5 oz Marie Brizard Apry
  • .5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Egg White

Dry-shake all ingredients in a shaker for approximately 30 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

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Featured article on this cocktail at Esquire.