Most likely, the Negroni originated in Florence, Italy, in 1919. A bartender working at Bar Casoni created this iconic drink in an attempt to mix a stronger version of an Americano Cocktail. Supposedly, the cocktail was named after the patron who ordered this boozier version - Count Camillo Negroni.
The result is a strong cocktail (24% ABV) that tastes refreshingly bitter and has a rich and complex flavor profile. In contrast to the herbal and botanical flavors in the drink, the essential oils from fresh orange peel add a nice touch.
The standard Negroni recipe consists of three ingredients. Here's a quick guide on what to look for and which products you need:
- Gin - you can't go wrong with classics like, for instance, Tanqueray. But then, Gin is the obvious ingredient to experiment with in this recipe. You can test which type of Gin suits you best or increase the amount to get a more Gin-forward version. Also, here's an overview of the best options in a Negroni.
- Sweet Vermouth - A rich and flavorful Vermouth is essential in this cocktail recipe. My all-time favorite is Carpano Antica Formula, but there are plenty of worthy alternatives.
- Campari - This dark red and distinctively bitter Amaro is the most stable ingredient in the recipe. It not only lends the drink its iconic color but also its distinct bitter taste. Still, there are other options that also work well, like Cappelletti.
An orange peel twist is the default garnish and adds a subtle citrusy touch to the drink. In addition, some bartenders also use orange bitters to enhance the flavors in the cocktail.
How to make a Negroni
The Negroni is a perfect example of a stirred cocktail. Making it is pretty straightforward. -Particularly because the recipe requires equal measurements of all ingredients.
- Step 1: Combine Gin, Campari, and Vermouth in a mixing glass filled with plenty of ice cubes. Stir the cocktail for 18 to 22 seconds or until the drink is well-chilled.
- Step 2: Strain over ice into an Old Fashioned glass.
- Step 3: Express an orange peel over the drink to release essential oils in the peel. Rub the peel along the rim and discard it into the glass.
Variations of the classic recipe
The easy template of this drink makes it an ideal cocktail for experimenting. Some of these variations swap the base spirit, others add additional elements, and others again use an entirely new set of ingredients. Here are some of the most popular Negroni riffs:
- The Coconut Negroni - Adding coconut Rum and dried coconut chips makes a perfect tropical version.
- A White Negroni - One of the most popular and creative riffs. This white variation is also bittersweet in taste but with more pronounced floral flavors like gentian.
- Mezcal Negroni - This is among our favorite variations and brings in lots of smoky notes from Mezcal, the Mexican agave spirit.
- Aperol Negroni - Replacing Campari with Aperol will make for a sweeter and less bitter Negroni.
- Negroni Sbagliato - This trending recipe was once a mistake. The "faulty" (sbagliato means wrong) Negroni is made with Prosecco instead of Gin.
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 Orange peel (garnish)
- Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with plenty of ice.1 oz Campari, 1 oz Gin, 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Stir until well-chilled.
- Strain over ice into a Rocks or Old Fashioned glass.
- Express orange peel with the peel facing the drink to release essential oils into the drink. Rub the peel around the rim and the discard it into the drink.1 Orange peel