The Negroni cocktail is the perfect aperitivo meant to sharpen the palate and whet the appetite. Having a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, it is our favorite cocktail to drink prior to a meal. Invented in 1919 at Caffè Casoni in Florence when Count Camillo Negroni wanted a stiffer version of the Americano (equal parts Sweet Vermouth and Campari), the bartender added Gin to the mix and the rest is history. Changing hands, the original bar became Caffè Giacosa in 1927, and was subsequently purchased by Roberto Cavalli (the designer famous for using wild animal prints).
Team Cavalli restored the bar to its former greatness with leather-bound parlor chairs and shiny brass rails. Fronting the Roberto Cavalli store, a heated terrace was also added to accommodate more patrons. No longer just a place for royalty and the elite, this was a perfect first stop for us on our latest journey to Italy.
On a pleasant, temperate early evening, we opted to sit in the terrace bathed in Negroni-colored lighting. They do offer some Negroni variations but we stuck with the original. Various Gin brands can be selected; we went with Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire:
The table is also decorated with A Negroni-colored floral arrangement:
Caffè Giacosa offers several other cocktails, but why go with anything other than a Negroni? There is an option to order a very large bruschetta, with choice of toppings, as a snack to go with the drinks. Along with the Negronis, this ham and cheese version was a great way to kick-off our vacation:
Click to view a previous post for the Negroni cocktail recipe and a variation.
Note: The BarFlys are vacationing in Italy. SF posts will return soon; in the meantime, please enjoy these travel-related posts.