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1950s Recipes + Menus

Negroni Capriccio

August 1956
This cocktail may have been invented by a Florentine bartender for one Count Camillo Negroni in the ’20s (or not—it doesn’t appear in cocktail books until much later), but it became part of the popular culture in the ’50s. Tennessee Williams’s novella The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone includes a Negroni-drinking scene (expanded on in the 1961 film version, starring Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty’s comically bad Italian accent). One of our readers came back from Rome impressed enough with the version served at the Capriccio restaurant to ask for the recipe. Recently bartenders have been upping the gin, but with a good sweet vermouth—Punt e Mes, for example—and a full-flavored gin (some of the new, more delicate “super-premium” gins can be overwhelmed by other ingredients), this formula works beautifully.

Into an Old-Fashioned glass filled with cracked ice pour 1/3 jigger each of dry gin, Campari bitters, and Italian sweet vermouth. Stir the mixture and add a twist of orange peel.