The cocktail known as the Negroni is a ginned-up twist on the Americano, which itself was a watered-down version of the Milano-Torino, that time-honored blend of Campari from Milano and Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth from Torino.
The Negroni owes its name to a hard-drinking Italian count who first decided to nix the fizz and add some Gin to the mix. The Negroni’s half-brother is the Boulevardier, a drink reputedly invented by an American publisher of a Parisian literary magazine of the same name. The Boulevardier swaps in Bourbon for the Gin which returns some woody-herbal complexity to the drink.
One last twist to add to this cockeyed-tale is that the Negroni may also have originally been an American invention. A recipe from 1895 has recently come to light for something called the Dundorado Cocktail. Apparently, this beverage involved: one half-jigger of Gin, one half jigger of Italian vermouth and two dashes of Calisaya* bitters which are derived from Cinchona Calisaya bark (as opposed to Cinchona Officials which is used in Campari).
Mixed up thoroughly? Perfect. Time for a drink.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Stir well with ice in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled glass,
and garnish with an orange slice or lemon twist.
*In France, a Boulevardier is someone who frequents fashionable locales.
** Calisaya Liqueur is combination of Calisaya bitters with other roots, flowers and seville orange extract imbued into a neutral grain spirit.