I'm a big fan of the classic Negroni cocktail, and this smoky riff, the Negroni Mezcal, is also high on my list of favorite recipes.
The original drink was invented in Italy and is a boozy twist to the Americano cocktail. Apparently, Count Camillo Negroni ordered this at his favorite bar in Florence. And just like that, a legendary cocktail was born.
In this Mezcal twist, the smoky agave spirit works amazingly well with Campari. In combination with Vermouth, you'll get a beautifully complex drink. So use our recipe to impress your friends and make a perfect Mezcal Negroni.
Ingredients of a Mezcal Negroni
The list of ingredient for our Mezcal Negroni recipe is short and sweet. You'll need a 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. Read on for more recommendations.
- Vermouth: Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with a variety of 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 the deep red color. Campari is certainly one of the more bitter Amari and absolutely essential in a classic Negroni and many of its variations. It's also vital in drinks like the Jungle Bird or the Garibaldi Cocktail.
More Mezcal recommendations
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.
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.
How 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. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Then garnish it with an orange peel or a thin slice of orange.
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
Because the Negroni is so popular, many variations of this drink popped up. Some versions merely replace the base liquor, while others are completely different cocktails.
The most famous ones are the White Negroni and the Negroni Sbagliato. Another contemporary twist is the Aperol Negroni. It is slightly less bitter than the classic, as Aperol is sweeter than Campari.
Also, there are more drinks closely tied to the Negroni, like the Boulevardier. A classic cocktail with a similar recipe but based on Whiskey - typically Bourbon or Rye.
- 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 15 to 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
One comment on “Mezcal Negroni”
A negroni is a bitter cocktail but the vermouth and orange garnish add enough fruity sweetness to balance
it out. The taste is herby, a bit rooty - think liquorice root - and then there are
some deep dark fruit flavours. The gin is present too so there's that classic juniper tang, notes of lemon and coriander seed.