Negronis are known as aperitifs. The term aperitif is a French word used to describe concentrated alcohols used in the middle ages, traditionally consumed before a meal to help whet the appetite. The word literally translates to "uncover or open." It's a punctuation mark to symbolize the beginning of a meal.
When I don't know what I want to drink, or what to serve friends, I default to a Negroni. A classic cocktail with three ingredients, this drink doesn't require a minor in mixology or complicated bar equipment (you don't even need a shaker) -- and yet it is a damn solid drink. Here's how to make one.