Your first kiss, the first time your dad said “good game bud”, and your first Negroni…all moments you will never forget in your life. World famous for its simplicity and unique combination of bitterness and sweetness, the Negroni is a must try cocktail.

History of the Negroni

The Negroni originated in Florence around the early 20th century. Legend has it that the Italian Count Camillo Negroni wanted to spice up his favorite cocktail, the Americano. His plan to do this was to switch out the soda water with gin. The Americano, if you didn’t know, is a combination of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. Those following along have connected the dots. The Negroni is made up of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin. 

The Negroni gets its bitterness from the Campari. Campari is an Italian liqueur that also has some orange earthy notes to it. It makes up exactly one-third of the Negroni but I might argue that it is the most important ingredient. For one, Campari is a brand, there is no substitute. Campari is what gives the Negroni the sweet bitterness that the drink is known for. So while you can substitute the other two ingredients, make sure you have Campari for this drink. 

As for the other two ingredients, gin and sweet vermouth, you can use your favorites of both. I typically will just use a mid-shelf gin as the flavor profile isn’t critical due to the more powerful Campari and vermouth components. But there are those that swear that in order to have a quality Negroni you need a top-shelf gin. 

Similar to the gin you can pick your favorite vermouth. I typically go with Martini & Rossi Rosso as it’s easily accessible for me. But the beauty of the Negroni is that you can really change the profile of the drink by testing out different vermouths. Both Carpano Antica and Cocchi vermouths are great options to try out

Classic Negroni Recipe

Again, the beauty of this drink is in the simplicity. Paradoxically, I’ve been disappointed by more bartenders screwing this one up than any other drink I can think of. The formula is simple. Quality ingredients + equal amounts = greatness in a glass.

Lets recap the Ingredients: 

Ingredients

  • 1oz of Campari
  • 1oz of Gin
  • 1oz of Sweet Vermouth
  • Ice – I prefer large rocks ice for minimal dilution. Avoid chipped or small cubes.
  • Garnish: Orange Peel. 

Simple right? So are the steps to making the perfect Negroni.

Steps

  1. Add the Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth to your mixing glass. Fill the mixing glass with ice and then give it a few good stirs. 
  2. Strain the liquid from the mixing glass into your drinking glass. (We like to drink this with a large ice cube which you can add prior to straining). 
  3. Garnish with your orange peel. 

And there you have it, the perfect Negroni! A little bitter, a little sweet, but always a good time!