While a classic Negroni recipe asks for a combination of Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth, this Aperol Negroni spin replaces Campari with the milder Aperol. If you've tried this cocktail before, I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the smooth flavors.
Quick Facts Aperol Negroni Cocktail
- Method: stirred
- Flavor profile: boozy, bittersweet
- How to serve it: over ice
- Best glassware: rocks glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 18.5% ABV, 17 grams of alcohol per serving
Like Campari, Aperol is also an Amaro liqueur but less bitter, less boozy, and also less herbaceous.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Bar spoon
- 1 Mixing glass
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 dash Orange bitters
- 1 Orange peel
- Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice.1 oz Gin, 1 oz Aperol, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, 1 dash Orange bitters
- Stir until the cocktail is well-chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
- Squeeze the orange peel over your drink and discard it into your Aperol Negroni.1 Orange peel
Why you should try a Negroni made with Aperol
An Aperol Negroni is a delightful alternative for people who aren't a fan of the strong bitter taste of Campari.
A Negroni made with Aperol has a bright orange/red color and is bittersweet and fruity. It has a balanced taste and is super easy to make.
So, a Negroni without Campari? Sure, why not?! Next time you crave a nice afternoon sipper, try this version of the recipe.
Ingredients and Recommendations
Making an Aperol Negroni can be done in two ways. Our Aperol Negroni twist stays close to the classic recipe. The ingredients you need are gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth, and here are our recommendations:
- Gin: Opt for a gin with a traditional flavor profile and no added sugars. Dry or London Dry is perfect.
- Aperol: no suggestions are needed for this one, I believe.
- Sweet vermouth: My two go-to bottles for Negronis are Carpano Antica Formula and Cocchi Vermouth di Torino. Both are of superb quality.
- Bitters (optional): To add a bit of complexity, you can also incorporate a dash of bitters. Regular Angostura bitters work well, but orange bitters are even better in this Aperol Gin cocktail.
- Garnish: Like the traditional Negroni, garnish the drink with an orange peel. You can squeeze it before discarding it into the glass to add essential oils to the drink.
The second version is known as the Contessa cocktail and is made with Aperol and dry vermouth instead of Campari and sweet vermouth, making it similar to the White Negroni.
Tips for the Orange Peel Garnish
Making an orange peel garnish for a drink is easy. Yet, since you discard the peel into your cocktail, remember to clean the orange thoroughly.
Then carefully cut off a piece of orange peel with a knife or a vegetable peeler and trim it.
Before adding the garnish to the glass, you can give it a squeeze while holding it over the drink with the outer skin facing downwards. By that, you release essential orange oils into the Aperol Negroni, which brings a fragrant orange note to the drink.
Campari vs. Aperol Negroni
The Negroni made with Aperol is a less bitter and slightly less boozy version of the original made with Campari. The drink gets a distinctly more fruity and floral flavor profile.
Campari and Aperol are both Amari - Italian herbal bitter liqueurs - and each Amaro has its own secret recipe, distinct taste, and unique flavor profile.
Both bitter liqueurs are similar at first sight but very different when compared in detail. Overall, the flavor profile of Campari is mainly bitter and herbal, whereas Aperol is more fruity and herbal with a slightly bitter note.
Aperol is a very light and only slightly bitter member. It's a herbal and fruity liqueur with a bright orange color and an alcohol content of 11%.
Campari, contains more alcohol, clocking in at 20% to 28%, depending on the country. Also, the color is different; the liqueur is famous for its dark red shade.
If you love a good Negroni as much as we do and want to try some more brilliant tweaks and twists, try out these recipes:
- Coconut Negroni - an all-time favorite of ours
- Mezcal Negroni - a smoky riff
- Negroni Sbagliato - an accident that turned out pretty great
For more inspiration, check out these 8 Negroni variations to try.