The simplest cocktails are often the hardest to perfect, and there are fewer drinks that exemplify this statement as much as a negroni. This aperitif was first made in 1919 in Florence at the behest of a Count, and has since become one of the most iconic Italian cocktails drunk across the globe. It takes three ingredients to build a negroni, with each poured into the glass at an equal ratio — gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Use the right components and you get a bittersweet beverage that instantly refreshes and jolts the appetite. Do it wrong and you get an uncomfortably dry mouthful that tastes more medicinal than magical.
Nearly every cocktail menu has a negroni within its pages, but its quality is always a gamble, especially if the bar gets a tad too experimental with the make-up of the drink. You have to kiss (drink?) a lot of frogs before you find a bar that serves good negronis, but fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork to suss out our five favourites around town. Salute!