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The Negroni

The Negroni

  • The Negroni
  • Campari

By Camper English, contributor

October 1st, 2010


The Negroni is one of my very favorite cocktails to make at home for two reasons. The first is that the drink is delicious and I never get tired of its rich and robust flavor. The cocktail strikes a perfect balance between the thick, syrupy sweet vermouth, the refreshing crispness of gin, and the complex bitterness of Campari. 

Campari is an Italian aperitif that is both bitter and sweet, with a glorious red color that used to come from an insect-based dye. 2010 marks the 150th birthday of this product made with a secret combination of herbs, plants, and fruit- and now bug-free coloring. 

The second reason that I make this drink so often is that the recipe is easy to remember: It is equal parts of the three ingredients, plus a garnish. 

As with any classic cocktail there are many ways to prepare a Negroni, but usually the ingredients stay the same. (One exception to that rule is this recipe from Fine Cooking in 2001.) Some people shake the drink to increase dilution; others stir it and serve it over ice. 

I like it as prepared below; stirred and served “on the stem.” It may be Campari’s anniversary but sipping this drink makes me feel like it’s my birthday instead. And I must say, I look pretty good at 150 years of age. 


1 fl. oz. Campari
1 fl. oz. Gin
1 fl. oz. Sweet (red, Italian) Vermouth
Orange peel for garnish

Stir all liquid ingredients over ice for a good minute or so. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze the orange peel over the glass to express the oils onto the drink, then drop it into the glass or place it on the side as a garnish. 


posted in: Blogs, drinks, cocktails, camper english, gin, vermouth, campari, negroni
Comments (5)

redactor writes: The Negroni is a perfectly balanced drink, and it makes a great aperitif. If you're a whiskey drinker, don't neglect the Boulevardier: it's the same as a Negroni, but substitute bourbon for the gin. Posted: 2:09 pm on March 24th

JeffSJ writes: Love this drink. Easy to make and delicious. My favorite Negroni experience was Jeffrey Morganthaller's barrel-aged Negroni at Clyde Commons in Portland. Amazing! Posted: 2:33 pm on October 4th

SimplyWithStyle writes: The Negroni has become my favorite cocktail in the past year. I've started an experiment. When I visit a new bar, or restaurant with a decent enough cocktail program it is always the first drink I order. I like to see what I get. It's amazing how much variety you can see in a drink that is basically equal parts of three things. My favorite is in an old fashion glass with a big hand chipped hunk of ice (Little Branch in NYC). Least favorite is shaken, far too diluted and full of ice chips. Stirred and up is what I usually get. The funniest response is when servers have told me, "We don't have those." I'm guessing they though I was asking for a Peroni beer? Bartenders always get me though. The most interesting was at Rye in San Francisco, I was asked if I was adventurous and when I answered affirmatively I got gin and Campari stirred and strained into a glass and then it was topped with egg whites shaken with a little Carpano and a twist. As I said, amazing range of drinks I've been handed. Posted: 10:14 pm on October 2nd

KenJonesCA writes: This is a standard go-to cocktail for me at home. I tend to prefer the drink with more gin; I often use a 2-1-1 ratio for my Negronis. I sometimes substitute Aperol for the Campari, but I usually prefer the balancing bitterness of the Campari. In fact, my favorite version is to use Punt e Mes for the vermouth. On the other hand, when I'm in the mood for a smoother version, I like Carpano Antica Formula.

Oh, and flaming the orange oil is a nice touch. Posted: 6:23 pm on October 2nd

Steveraye writes: I'm always surprised how few people...and bartenders...know how to make a Negroni in the U.S. It's very popular in Europe and Italy in particular, where a variant using Aperol has blossomed so far that when you order a Negroni over there now, you get asked whether you want it with Campari or Aperol.

We're seeing growth in Aperol on this side of the pond, but much more slowly than in Italy where bitters are a common quaff.

But the BEST Negroni recipe I've found is to tone back the Rosso vermouth from a full measure to 3/4. Takes a little of the oversweetness out of the mix, and let's the bitters and Gin come through a bit more. I like to add a bit of club soda to the drink to give it a bit of sparkle.

And of course, I always make it with Aperol at home. Posted: 7:09 am on October 2nd

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