Giacosa Cafe: The Birthplace of the Negroni

Giacosa Cafe: The Birthplace of the Negroni

An integral part of a typical Italian’s day is the aperitivo. One of the most famous drinks enjoyed as an aperitivo is the Negroni cocktail; now consumed worldwide, this famous Italian drink had its beginnings right here in beautiful Florence.

An integral part of a typical Italian’s day, aside from the numerous shots of strong coffee of course, is the aperitivo. One of the most famous drinks enjoyed as an aperitivo is the Negroni cocktail; now consumed worldwide, this famous Italian drink had its humble beginnings right here in beautiful Florence, at the Giacosa Café, to be precise. So whilst strolling around this historical city on your tour of Florence, why not pop in for an ‘original’ Negroni cocktail?

The Giacosa Café, previously known as the Café Casoni and now sometimes referred to as the Café Cavalli, due to its association to the famous Italian designer and his flagship boutique located next door, is and was always a hub of sophistication, particularly during the interwar years. So how did this famous Negroni cocktail actually come about? It is said to have been invented between 1919 and 1920 at this very location, and although the origin is not definite, this is the most widely reported account of the drink’s history. It is believed that Count Camillo Negroni, who used to visit the bar quite frequently, one day asked barman Fosco Scarselli for his regular Campari and vermouth to be topped up with gin, instead of soda water. The barman garnished it with orange instead of lemon and the Negroni cocktail was born.?

Made up of one part gin, one part semi-sweet vermouth rosso, one part bitters (traditionally Campari), this drink quickly became very popular. The Negroni family even founded a distillery in Treviso and produced a ready-made version of the cocktail, which they sold as ‘Antico Negroni 1919’. Many variations of this famous drink have also been introduced over the years, including the Negroni ‘sbagliato’ (or ‘wrong’), in which sparkling wine such as prosecco is used, and the ‘Negroski’, which substitutes the gin for vodka. If you’re after the original Negroni however, you will often find that many bars serve it with a bigger quantity of gin, as the quality of this spirit is much better today than it was in the past.

While taking in part in one of our informative tours in Florence, Italy, make sure the Giacosa Café is on your list of things to visit. After spending the day walking in Florence, what better way to recharge your batteries than with a tasty aperitivo at this stylish location. Make like an Italian and pop in for a Negroni, a snack and a few moments of relaxation, before the evening really begins.