Vermouth may be having a renaissance moment in the modern craft cocktail scene, but don’t call it a comeback: it’s been here for years. It’s been around for decades. Fortified wine has been a key component of many of the most basic cocktails, many of which were revived by brave bartenders in decades after Prohibition.
And, after more than 250 years in the business, Cinzano has been around for all of it, from the day the Negroni made its debut in Florence to the first Manhattan slung on Broadway. We asked the legendary Italian vermouth company to help us place some of these classics on their right pedestals. Here are a few of the most iconic vermouth cocktails:
1. The Negroni
Sometimes a bartender makes a drink. Other times, a customer makes it. The Negroni was invented at Bar Casoni, Florence, in the 1920s. It was ordered by Count Camillo Negroni, sweet vermouth, Campari, and club soda, with gin instead of soda. It is also important to note that Camillo Negroni was a huge fan of the American “wild west”, and would often be seen wearing full cowboy attire.
- 1 1/4 ounce Gin
- 1 ounce Campari
- 3/4 Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
Mix the ingredients and ice in a glass. Stir until chilled. Add an orange peel to garnish.
2. The Martini
It is possible to get a lot of confusing answers if you ask about the origins of the Martini. It is difficult to say if the Martini was ever “created.” Instead, it evolved between 1882-1810, with a dozen variations of its name and ingredients. The only binder being Gin and vermouth cocktails.
- 1 ounce Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth
- 3 ounces Gin
Mix ingredients and ice in a glass. Stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Add a twist of lemon or olives to garnish.
3. The Adonis
This cocktail is named after William Gill’s 1884 Broadway show “Adonis”, often referred to as the first Broadway musical. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel created the cocktail in the show’s honor.
- 2 oz. Fino Sherry
- 2 oz. Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Mix ingredients and ice in a glass. Stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Mix together a 12 inch strip of orange peel and a cocktail.
There are many legends surrounding its origins, but Gary Regan’s based on William F. Mulhall’s 1880s bartender account explains: “The Manhattan cocktail was invented in part by Black, who maintained a place ten door below Houston Street on Broadway in [eighteen-] Sixties. It is probably the most well-known drink in the world at that time.”
- 1 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
- 2 ounces Rye Whiskey
- 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Mix ingredients and ice in a glass. Stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Add a twist or maraschino cherry to garnish.
5. Americano Cocktail
Gaspare Campari, Caffe Campari, 1860s.
- 1 1/2 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
- 1 1/2 ounce Campari
Use a highball glass to make the drink. Add soda. Add an orange slice to garnish.
6. The Bronx Cocktail
Johnny Solon, a New York Waldorf-Astoria Hotel employee, created it in 1906. It was named after the newly opened Bronx Zoo. It was ranked third in “The World’s 10 Most Famous Cocktails 1934”, behind only the Manhattan and the Martini.
- 2 ounces Gin
- 1/2 ounce Cinzano Rosso Vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth
- 1 ounce of fresh orange juice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Serve with an orange peel garnish or without.