The 9 Best Gin for a Negroni Cocktail: A Bartender Guide

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 24, 2023

Negronis are all about balancing bitter and sweet flavors. The ingredients in this Italian cocktail are one part gin, one part sweet vermouth or vermouth rosso, and one part Campari.
Best Gin for Negroni

Named after Count Camillo Negroni, the Negroni is a classic cocktail and a twist on the Americano cocktail that packs more of a punch. The herbal, bitter, and sweet taste makes the Negroni a perfect drink for any season. 

What so many gins and gin types on the market, choosing the best gin for making Negroni can be challenging. Fear not, here's a bartender-approved list of our favorite brands of gin for Negroni. 

The 9 Best Gin for a Negroni

1. 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 peel 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, carrying a strong lemon and grapefruit note. That is achieved by adding distillates infused with grapefruit and lemon to the traditional Gin recipe.

The resulting Tanqueray 10 is a perfect option for a Gin and tonic or a Negroni. Garnish it with a grapefruit peel, and enjoy.

2. Ferdinand Saar

Ferdinand Saar Dry Gin for Negroni
  • Type of Gin: Dry Gin
  • ABV: 44%
  • From: Germany

An extraordinary 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, 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.

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 and blend well with the bitterness of Campari.

Lately, Ferdinand Saar started producing their own Vermouths - red, white, and rosé. All of them go extremely well with their Gins. Hardly surprising, I recommend making your next Negroni with Ferdinand's sweet red Vermouth and Dry Gin.

3. Iron Balls Gin

Iron Balls Gin Bangkok bottle
  • Type of Gin: New Western Gin
  • ABV: 40%
  • Origin: Bangkok, Thailand

This beautifully tropical Gin is based on pineapple and coconut wine and combines Asian flavors with a hint of sweetness.

The Shape of the bottle, reminiscent of half a cannonball, isn't the only unique touch to this fine spirit. Designed and crafted by master bar designer Ashley SuttonIron Balls Gin is a small-batch gin with a truly distinctive taste.

It took him more than 2,000 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 a homemade 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 too experimental for Gin traditionalists, but I love it. In a Negroni, it works best when garnished with a dried slice of pineapple.

4. Roku Gin

Roku Japanese Gin for Negroni
  • Type of Gin: Contemporary
  • ABV: 47%
  • Origin: Japan

Roku Gin is a complex Gin that incorporates six traditional Japanese botanicals.

Japan is long known for producing excellent Whiskeys. But it isn't exactly famous for producing quality Japanese Gin. Still, Roku Gin is a beautiful creation from the Land of the Rising Sun.

More and more bars and bartenders appreciate this Roku 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.

5. Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin

Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin
  • Type of Gin: London Dry Gin
  • ABV: 41.8%
  • Origin: Australia

The Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin is an Australian gin making for an exciting and delicious Negroni. This gin boasts an impressive aromatic profile with robust spices, exuding intensity and richness. 

Besides juniper berries, the infusion of West African spice grains of paradise and Indonesian cubeb pepper imparts an elevated dimension to its flavors.

Four Pillars created this gin specifically for use in a Negroni, and you can taste that in the drink. The spicy flavors work well with the bitter and sweet flavors from Campari and red vermouth.

The genesis of this gin emerged from a dialogue between Cameron Mackenzie, the distiller of Four Pillars, and Jason Williams, a renowned bartender, in 2014. Their shared goal was to conceive a gin tailor-made for the Negroni, capable of harmonizing with its bitter and vermouth elements.

6. 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 and works excellent in classic gin cocktails like a Negroni or Martini.

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 change their flavor and aroma by doing so. 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 is also reflected in the taste of the final product. The traditional botanical selection and juniper-forward taste make it a superb choice for a classic Negroni.

7. 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 remarkably 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 sensational Negroni cocktail.

8. 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. 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 spirit named Elephant Strength Gin is just as good. And it's without a doubt one of the best Navy Strength Gins I tried.

The Gin is 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 clever interplay of flavors that's worth a try.

9. 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.

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. It adds a herbal note to the overall fresh character of the Gin.

By the way, the Netherlands is 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, British-style Gin.

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 Gin for a White Negroni

The White Negroni is a relatively new recipe and a riff on the classic equal parts gin 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.

1. 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 in 2001, he used Plymouth Gin to make the first White Negroni. If there's one Gin to use in a White Negroni, it certainly is Plymouth Gin. -Their stronger Plymouth Navy strength is better suited for a classic Negroni.

An interesting fact is that Plymouth Gin is seen as a separate category of Gin. Plymouth is the only representative of said category and is slightly 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.

2. 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.

Exploring the Secrets of the Best Gins

The base of any great gin starts with carefully chosen botanicals, like juniper berries that give the piney taste. The other ingredients, for example, coriander seed, cassia bark, Angelica root, cardamom, star anise, and citrus peel add more flavors and contribute to a higher complexity.

Traditionally, classic London Dry Gins like Beefeater London Dry, Fords Gin, or Bombay Sapphire are used in a Negroni. However, experimenting with more unusual bottles like Hendrick’s Gin (with rose and cucumber) or Barr Hill Gin (with raw honey) shows that the choice of gin can highly impact the resulting drink. 

Categorized into many different types, you can find thousands of brands on the market. And often, each brand offers more than just one product. It goes without saying that with such a massive selection, the flavor profiles, botanicals, and proof vary widely. 

A light, fresh, and citrus-forward Gin will create a different outcome than a traditional London Dry Gin. Higher-proof type of Gin, like Navy Strength Gins (at 115 proof), will produce a boozier result. With a higher amount of alcohol alone, your Negroni will taste much more Gin-forward. No need to even change measurements.

The perfect gins for a negroni get the mix just right, so they match the sweet vermouth and Campari in the cocktail. 

The Other Elements of the Negroni Cocktail

Invented at Caffé Cassoni in Florence, the Negroni is a twist on the Americano cocktail, using gin instead of soda water as an ingredient. Gin balances the strong and bold flavors of bitter Campari and sweet Vermouth. Garnished with the obligatory orange peel, the bittersweet Negroni cocktail is one of the most popular drinks.

There are numerous possibilities to substitute the Campari or sweet Vermouth part of this drink. However, changing the gin base is the easiest way to change the character and taste of the cocktail without taking away from the original recipe.


Even though a Negroni cocktail recipe contains only three ingredients, you are not limited to a single flavor experience. When choosing the right gin brand, your personal preferences matter the most.

Do you prefer classic juniper gins? Try Oxley London Dry Gin. Do you prefer a brighter more citrusy flavor profile? Give Tanqueray 10 a chance. And if you're looking for something new and exciting, check out Iron Balls Gin or Ferdinand Saar.

Experimenting with gin for a Negroni opens up a world of possibilities. Play around until you find the combination you like best! So, what is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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8 comments on “The 9 Best Gin for a Negroni Cocktail: A Bartender Guide”

    1. Hey Rich,
      Botanist is indeed a great Gin, I also love it in Gin & Tonic.
      It also like it in a classic Negroni, although I have to say I prefer it in a white Negroni paired with Carpano Bianco and Luxardo Bianco.

  1. I feel Genever should be considered a valid option, but I find Cappelletti a better Amaro in that Negroni, than Campari,tbh.

    1. Hey Leo,
      Absolutely, Genever can be a great fit in a Negroni. -But at this time in this article we decided to leave Genever out. But I have to say the combination of Genever & Cappelletti sounds intriguing. Never had it before and will definitely give it a try!

  2. If you get a chance to try it, uncle Val's botanical gin is pure magic in a negroni. It's very cucumber forward and those vegetal notes really complement the thing.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Ben.
      I had it once in a G&T and liked it but I have to try it in a Negroni. I'll update you once I get the chance to do so.

  3. Based on this review I ordered a bottle of ferdinand's and must say its excellent for negroni gives so much body to it.. Which I presume is from the Riesling..very much recommend. And thanks

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