Meet The Negroni's Older Cocktail Cousin, The Milano-Torino

The more bitter, the better. Despite that, the history of appetite-stimulating and digestive-aiding amari extends back to the early 1800s, Vogue shares that in recent years, sales of Italian bitters like vermouth and Campari have skyrocketed, thanks to our ever-evolving preference for punchy flavors. In between astringent black coffee and tart IPAs, even our cocktail choices have shifted from sweet to sour. But while Negroni might be facing a revival, there's another bitter beverage dubbed its older cousin that's worth a try — introducing the Milano-Torino.

Before the Negroni, there was the Americano, which was actually a direct descendant of the Milano-Torino, reports Chilled Magazine. The difference between these bittersweet cocktails, however, lies in the addition of various ingredients. For example, a Negroni is equal parts Campari, vermouth, and gin, whereas an Americano swaps herbaceous gin for bubbly soda water. The Mi-To is instead a much simpler recipe, consisting of just two Italian-invented ingredients.

How to make the bittersweet cocktail

Dating to the 1860s, Punch reports that the first Milano-Torino was served in Gaspare Campari's café in Milan, located in front of the city's grand cathedral. What quickly became the blueprint for other bittersweet cocktails, the Mi-To was named after the birthplaces of its principal ingredients — Campari, which hails from Milan, and vermouth, which hails from Turin.

Although the cocktail might seem simple to craft, there is a proper way to do it. To create the best Mi-To, Giadzy recommends stirring together equal parts (1 1/2 ounces each) of bitter Campari and sweet red vermouth and then pouring the mixture into a lowball glass filled with ice, serving with an orange wedge. The drink is ideally enjoyed during aperitivo, as the bitters will help whet your appetite for dinner, but — let's face it — there's never really a bad time to sip a Milano-Torino.

Almost like a vintage Negroni, the cocktail has a slightly lower alcohol content, boasting a modest 19.95% ABV, according to Difford's Guide. That said, since the crimson-colored drink combines two amari that are both quite bitter, it definitely has a mouth-puckering effect, all the while remaining slightly syrupy. Richly flavored with notes of warm spices and citrus, the Mi-To is sure to satisfy your bittersweet cocktail cravings.