The original drink was invented in Italy and is a boozy version of the Americano cocktail. In this mezcal twist, the smoky agave spirit blends amazingly well with Campari. In combination with vermouth, you'll get a beautifully complex drink.
Quick Facts Mezcal Negroni Cocktail
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: fruity, slightly boozy
- How to serve it: straight up
- Best glassware: Martini glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 22% ABV, 26.5 grams of alcohol per serving
I'm a big fan of the classic Negroni cocktail, and this smoky riff is also high on my list of favorites. So use our recipe to impress your friends and make a perfect Mezcal Negroni.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Mixing glass
- 1 Bar spoon
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 Peeler
- 1 oz Mezcal
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 Orange zest - (for garnish)
- Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with lots of ice.1 oz Mezcal, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth, 1 oz Campari
- Stir for about 20 seconds - or about 50 rounds- until the drink is chilled.
- Then strain it into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
- Squeeze the orange twist in direction of the Negroni glass to release its essential oils, and then discard it into the drink.1 Orange zest
Ingredients & Recommendations
The list of ingredients for our Mezcal Negroni recipe is short and sweet. You'll need quality mezcal, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Further, you need some fresh ice for chilling the drink while stirring it in a mixing glass and an orange twist to garnish this delicious cocktail:
- Mezcal: My favorite mezcal to use here is Montelobos Mezcal and Alipus. Check below for more recommendations.
- Vermouth: Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with herbs and roots. For the Mezcal Negroni, I like Antica Formula best.
- Campari: a member of the Amaro family, known for its bittersweet herbal taste and deep red color. Campari is one of the more bitter Amari and absolutely essential in a classic Negroni and most of its variations. Stick to it, and - we got this question multiple times now- don't replace it with Aperol. The two taste very different.
Our Mezcal Recommendations for This Drink
Montelobos Espadin is my regular choice for many of the top Mezcal Cocktails as it is budget-friendly, offers great quality, a beautiful smokiness, and is super versatile. But I also have some more recommendations, especially if Montelobos is too much for your liking:
Del Maguey VIDA Mezcal
Probably the most popular choice for mixing drinks. While it may lack a bit of complexity when you sip it neat, it's a beautiful choice for a Mezcal Negroni. It also works great in other drinks, like a Mezcal Margarita.
Ilegal Mezcal Joven
Ilegal Mezcal produces some seriously delicious mezcals. And their Joven expression is perfect for mixing it in a Mezcal Negroni or other Mezcal cocktails. It's a well-rounded spirit with plenty of fruity notes and a slightly smoky touch. If overly smoky Mezcals are not your kind of thing, give this one a try.
Gracias a Dios Espadin Mezcal
For fans of smoky mezcal, Gracias a Dios Espadin is a perfect choice. Notes of apple, pear, and cinnamon are coming through.
Want to know more? Mezcal, like tequila, is a spirit made of the agave plant. But unlike tequila, a Mezcal can be made of various agave plants from many regions. If you want to know more, read
- our quick Guide On Mezcal.
- the Differences Between Mezcal And Tequila.
- all about the different Mezcal Types. Basically, you can use any type to make a Mezcal Negroni.
Tips & Tricks to Make the Drink
Like in the traditional recipe, a Mezcal Negroni is made using equal parts of each ingredient. One ounce each of Campari, Carpano Antica Formula, and Mezcal is all it requires.
As usual, a drink with only alcoholic ingredients is stirred, not shaken. Therefore, put all three ingredients into a mixing glass with lots of ice and stir until the drink is chilled. That means at least 20 to 25 seconds. You can also count 50 rounds.
Then garnish it with an orange peel or a thin slice of orange. If you squeeze the orange peel slightly while holding it over your drink, it will release essential oils and make your Mezcal Negroni even better.
When to Drink It?
In Italy, a classic Negroni is a typical aperitivo cocktail. A pre-dinner drink that's supposed to prepare for your food. But a Mezcal Negroni is better served as an after-work drink.
Other Negroni variations
Since the Negroni is so popular, the number of variations of this drink is ever-growing. Some versions merely replace the base liquor, while others are completely different cocktails.
And there are more drinks closely tied to the Negroni, like the Boulevardier - a classic cocktail with a similar recipe but based on whiskey.