Best Gins for Negronis

Best Gins for Negronis

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 18, 2022 
A good Negroni is all about the balance between the three ingredients. As Campari is a fixture, choosing the best Gin for a Negroni is crucial to making a perfect drink.

Named after count Camillo Negroni, the Negroni cocktail is a twist on the Americano cocktail that packs more punch. Instead of soda water, the Negroni uses Gin as the third ingredient. Balanced by Campari and sweet Vermouth, Gin adds more complexity to the drink than sparkling club soda would. When garnished with the obligatory orange peel, the bittersweet Negroni cocktail is one of the most popular classic cocktails.

One reason why this drink is so popular is the simplicity of the traditional recipe. Three ingredients with equal measurements are all you need. Stirred on ice and served with an orange peel, the Negroni is a drink any aspiring home bartender can create easily. This simplicity also allows for uncomplicated experimenting with the ingredients.

There are numerous possibilities to replace Campari and the Vermouth part of this drink, but the Gin part is the most interesting one as there are countless options. Categorized into many different types of Gin, you can find thousands of brands on the market. And often, brands offer more than just one product.

It goes without saying that with such a tremendous selection, flavor profiles, botanicals, and proof vary. A light, fresh, and citrus-forward Gin will create a totally different outcome than a traditional London Dry Gin. And a higher-proof type of Gin like Navy Strength Gins (at 115 proof) will produce a particular result. With a higher amount of alcohol alone, your Negroni will taste much more Gin-forward. No need to even change measurements.

So let's take a look at our selection of the best Gins for Negronis.

Best Gin for a classic Negroni

Choosing between thousands of different Gins certainly is not easy. Especially if you're not into Gin, this task might be overwhelming. Luckily, I love Gin and a good Negroni, too. Therefore, I put together a list of excellent Gins for different kinds of Negroni.

Tanqueray No. Ten

Tanqueray No. 10 Gin for Negroni

Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
ABV: 47%
From: Scotland

A traditional London Dry Gin with pronounced juniper notes and a kick of citrus from lemon and grapefruit

A classic London Dry Gin is a common choice when making a Negroni. Many bartenders prefer a juniper-forward Gin for a classic Negroni. Partly because this is the traditional way of making it but also because juniper works brilliantly in combination with the bitter and herbal taste of Campari.

Tanqueray No. Ten is a traditional London Dry Gin, but it also carries a strong lemon and grapefruit note. That is achieved by adding distillates infused with grapefruit and lemon to the traditional Gin recipe. And the resulting Tanqueray 10 is a perfect choice for a Gin & Tonic or a Negroni. Garnish it with a grapefruit peel and enjoy.

Ferdinand Saar

Ferdinand Saar Dry Gin for Negroni

Type of Gin: Dry Gin
ABV: 44%
From: Germany

An unusual Gin from Germany. After distillation, a bit of locally produced Riesling wine is added to the spirit, resulting in an excellent flavor profile.

Ferdinand Saar's Gin is a rather creative take on a Dry Gin. It is made of 30 different botanicals and created in a one-step distillation process. Even more interesting is, the botanicals are subject to change from year to year. The ultimate goal is to complement the wine added at the end of the production process. And as you might know, the taste of wine strongly depends on external conditions like weather or soil.

The unusual herbaceous and floral notes in Ferdinand Saar Dry Gin are a great fit in a Negroni cocktail. It gets even more interesting as Ferdinand Saar started producing their own Vermouths - red, white, and rosé. All of them work extremely well with their Gins. Hardly surprising, I recommend making your next Negroni with Ferdinand's sweet red Vermouth and Dry Gin.

Iron Balls Gin

Iron Balls Gin Bangkok bottle

Type of Gin: New Western Gin
ABV: 40%
Origin: Thailand

This beautifully tropical Gin is based on pineapple and coconut wine.

The Shape of the bottle, reminiscent of half a cannonball, isn't the single unique touch to this fine spirit. Designed and crafted by master bar designer Ashley Sutton, Iron Balls Gin has a truly distinctive taste. It took him more than 2000 test runs to develop the final recipe. -An intriguing mix of tropical botanicals that create an extraordinary Gin.

The base of Iron Balls Gin is made of pineapple and coconut wine. In addition to juniper, botanicals like lemongrass, coriander, lemon, ginger, and basil create a fruity and refreshing flavor. This New Western Gin might be a little too experimental for Gin traditionalists, but I love it. In a Negroni, it works best when garnished with a dried slice of pineapple.

Roku Gin

Roku Japanese Gin for Negroni

Type of Gin: Contemporary
ABV: 47%
Origin: Japan

Roku Gin is a complex Gin that incorporates some very special Japanese botanicals.

Japan is long known for producing excellent Whiskeys. But it isn't exactly famous for producing quality Gin. Roku Gin, however, is a wonderful creation from the Land of the Rising Sun. More and more bars and bartenders came to love this Gin for its unique taste and versatility. Roku translates to six. And six is also the number of Japanese botanicals used to create the Gin.

Two of these botanicals are yuzu and cherry blossom flowers. Both are also quite dominant in the aroma and taste of the spirit. The smell of Roku Gin is a refreshing mix of cherry blossom and green tea. And the taste is quite traditional, with notes of yuzu and a hint of sansho pepper. The flavors of Roku Gin blend perfectly with Campari and Vermouth, making Roku one of the most recommended Gins for a Negroni.

Oxley London Dry Gin

Oxley cold-distilled Dry Gin

Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
ABV: 47%
Origin: England

A cold-distilled Gin from England with a classic flavor profile.

The taste of Oxley London Dry Gin is quite traditional and juniper-forward. Oxley was one of the first brands that used a cold-distilled approach to create their Gin. That means they distill the Gin at a very low temperature to avoid "burning" the botanicals. Traditional processes cook botanicals and therefore change their flavor and aroma.

And Oxley distills at even lower temperatures than is standard for cold distillation, namely below the freezing point of water. As a result, Oxley can capture aromas from botanicals that other brands simply can't. And this also reflects in the taste of the final product. The traditional botanical selection and juniper-forward taste make it a superb choice for a classic Negroni.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
ABV: 41.6%
Origin: England

Sipsmith produces some of the best Gins on the market. Their London Dry Gin is perfect in a classic Negroni.

Sipsmith is another juniper-forward and traditional Gin. But each of the London Dry Gins recommended in our list is different. Sipsmith's version is quite floral, with citrus notes from lemons and oranges.

In a Negroni, this particular flavor combination works exceptionally well. Garnishing with a slice of orange or an orange peel pronounces the orange notes in the Gin even more. This combination creates a terrific take on a traditional Negroni.

Elephant Strength Gin

Elephant Strength Gin

Type of Gin: Navy Strength Gin
ABV: 57%
Origin: Germany

A high-proof version of the classic Elephant Gin made with unique African botanicals.

Elephant Gin is a well-designed Gin full of character. It carries notes of earthy spices, fruity citrus, and a distinct floral aroma. The unique African botanicals like buchu, baobab, and devil's claw make an unusual, earthy, and quite complex Gin that unfolds its full potential when used in a Gin and Tonic or cocktails.

And the higher-proof version named Elephant Strength Gin is just as good. Certainly one of the best Navy Strength Gins I tried. It's rich in taste and potent but at the same time extremely well-balanced. Used in a Negroni, Elephant Strength Gin is powerful enough to take on the intense bitter and herbal taste of the Campari. A gorgeous play of flavors that you should give a try.

Rutte Dry Gin

Rutte Dry Gin

Type of Gin: Navy Strength Gin
ABV: 43%
Origin: Netherlands

A classic and juniper-forward Gin with some extra freshness to it.

Rutte's Dry Gin is a low-key styled Dry Gin that works perfectly in a Negroni. With only eight different botanicals, there are only a few surprises. The biggest one is the fennel. The addition of this adds a herbal note to the overall fresh character of the Gin.

The Netherlands is the reason why we even can discuss the best Gins. The Dutch spirit Genever played a vital role in the history of Gin and is seen as the starting point for modern creations. That also shows in the quality of many Dutch Gins. The attention to detail and finesse in Gins like Rutte Dry Gin is exceptional.

Best Gins for a White Negroni

The White Negroni is a relatively new cocktail. But the white twist on the classic aperitivo cocktail quickly gained a following. Instead of Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth, the White Negroni combines Gin, Lillet Blanc, and Suze.

And while traditional Negronis highly benefit from juniper-forward Gins, a White Negroni also works very well with less juniper-heavy Gins. So let's have a look at the best Gins for White Negronis.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin White Negroni

Type of Gin: Plymouth Gin
ABV: 41.2%
Origin: England

A dry and earthy Gin and one of the original ingredients for making a White Negroni.

When Wayne Collins invented the White Negroni at VinExpo 2001, he used Plymouth Gin to make the first White Negroni. So if there's one Gin to use in a White Negroni, it certainly is Plymouth Gin.

Another interesting fact is that Plymouth Gin is seen as a separate category of Gin. It's drier than London Dry Gin and has an earthy character. The number of botanicals is limited to cardamom, coriander seeds, orris roots, dried orange peels, Angelica roots, and juniper.

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin

Nolet's Silver Dry GIn

Type of Gin: Dry Gin
ABV: 47.6%
Origin: Netherlands

A light and floral Gin from the Netherlands. Perfect for a more floral version of a White Negroni.

Nolet's Silver Dry Gin is very floral and fruity. The juniper notes are almost non-existent, and that's precisely why Nolet's Silver Gin is such a great fit. Botanicals like peach, Turkish rose, and raspberry blend well with Dry Vermouth and create a light drink. While this clearly is quite different from the original White Negroni recipe from Wayne Collins, the result is a delight.

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