Caffè Vergnano Negroni: A Most Italian of Cocktails

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From the Mimosa to the Bloody Mary–the problem with breakfast cocktails is that they can easily slow you down and hinder the rest of your day. Alcohol simply makes it hard to soldier on into the Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

There's a decidedly Italian solution: a breakfast cocktail delicious enough to keep your interest and potent enough to keep you wide awake: The Caffè Vergnano Espresso Negroni.

You might think of it as a classy vodka Red Bull; a upper-crust Irish coffee. Sure, it has caffeine and alcohol. But the trick is expertly combining the stimulants you’re going to consume. Champagne and Prosecco is gas and sugars which will increase your bloat and worsen the post-breakfast hangover. Bailey’s is heavy and its high dairy content will send you to your post-brunch naptime.

The key to the Espresso Negroni is that it takes strong Italian espresso and combines it with strong liquor: caffeine and alcohol, a bit of orange peel...there's nothing in it to pull your spirits you down. And this drink works wonderfully hot or cold, so it can be served in a martini glass or a mug depending on the season.


1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
½ part Caffè Vergnano espresso
Orange peel

The Unique, Spirited Italian History of Campari

Campari began in Novara, an Italian town just west of Milan, in 1860. Gaspare Campari, when bartender-turned-cafe-proprietor began bottling a bitter, herbal cocktail invention in his cellar.

The recipe reportedly has not changed since that time: Campari is a blend of equal parts of alcohol, sugar syrup, distilled water, and an infusion flavored with oranges, rhubarb, and ginseng, as well as a mixture of herbs. What herbs? The true recipe is shrouded in secrecy.

Another distinctly Italian spirit, that makes up up the Negroni is vermouth–and the world's best selling vermouth is also a decidedly Italian affair from Martini & Ross, which started in 1863 in Turin, right down the street from where Caffè Vergnano began our storied roots not long thereafter.