The Biggest Mistake People Make With A Negroni

Let's set the scene: It's Florence, Italy, home city of Count Camillo Negroni, in the early 1900s. Up until this time, Count Negroni – a man notorious for liking strong drinks, and globetrotting, per The Rake — has preferred the Americano, which is equal parts Campari and vermouth topped with soda water. On this particular evening, however, he asks the bartender at Caffé Casoni to strengthen his Americano by replacing the soda water with the gin he became so fond of in London, where he lived part-time. Did you hear that? It's the sound of history being made.

Who knows what was going on in the Count's life on that fateful night. Maybe he had a fight with a lover, or a tough day at work, maybe there was family drama, or just a bad hair day. Whatever the reason was behind his stronger drink, this desire birthed a classic cocktail that today we know as the Negroni.

According to, the cocktail-tale you just read is accepted amongst Italians and cocktail enthusiasts as the true origin of the Negroni cocktail. It was even written about in a book by Florence bartender Lucca Picchi called, "Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni," which translates to "In the Footsteps of the Count: The True Story of the Negroni Cocktail." 

As with most classic cocktails, there are rules to be followed to make them correctly and the Negroni is no exception.

Don't shake things up

Back in spring 2020, when everyone was at home getting creative, Stanley Tucci posted a video on Instagram that caused quite a stir. Well, actually, it left the internet shook.

In the video, Tucci broke one of the cardinal rules of Negroni mixing, which is that he shook it in a cocktail shaker (and served it up rather than on the rocks.) According to Sipsmith, a classic Negroni is meant to be stirred, not shaken, because it's a spirit-forward drink.

People in the comments section of Tucci's post were horrified, but it begs the question, who makes the rules of mixing cocktails? And, if you like something a certain way, can't you just make it that way and disregard the supposed rules of adult beverages? As it turns out, while Tucci may prefer it shaken, there's an argument to be made for the classic technique of stirring a Negroni.

Handle with care

According to Delicous, shaking a Negroni can actually mess with the balance of flavors as well as the texture. They say that the perfect Negroni strikes a balance of sweet, bitter, and floral aromatics. It's meant to be stirred with plenty of ice, which dilutes it slightly and brings down the temperature so it's nice and chilled as you sip it. If you shake the cocktail, the flavors will merge together and you'll end up with a frothier drink.

Delicious notes that the preferred texture of a Negroni is velvety and smooth, without bubbles, and that gets disrupted when shaking occurs. Shaking cocktails is perfect for fruit-forward drinks or drinks where liquor is combined with juices or eggs, but in the case of a delicate Negroni, please handle with care.

So, next time you're in the mood for a cocktail, try this classic Negroni recipe and remember to stir it gently. You can even tip your glass toward the sky and whisper a quiet thank you to Count Negroni.