This started out with the classic Italian cocktail - the Negroni, but just like with Italian cooking we began substituting a bit of this and a bit of that until it became something quite distinct. Like a Negroni, we used gin and sweet vermouth, but the dark amber color of our Italiano is the result of the addition of balsamic vinegar. With the popularity of shrubs right now (which are fruit, sugar, and vinegar concoctions) we figured why not try adding the vinegar directly to a cocktail. We used a very good balsamic vinegar - not the kind you find in the grocery store. This is the true balsamic vinegar that you get in an Italian specialty store. It's dark, syrupy, and slightly sweet. The intensity of true balsamic vinegar means that a little goes a long way. We also added a bit of fresh squeezed orange juice and used Aperol (Campari's less bitter cousin). To keep things Italian, we garnished the cocktail with a sprig of fresh oregano. Bitter cocktails can be an acquired taste, but we think this cocktail has a good balance and will make a nice aperitif to your next Italian meal.