The Best Negroni Recipe: an Ultimate Guide

Best Negroni Cocktail Recipe

What is a Negroni Cocktail?

The Negroni is a classic cocktail that originates from Italy around 1920.

Italian bartender Gaspare Campari created Campari, a bitter red liqueur, in 1860. Shortly after, he mixed his bitter liqueur with sweet vermouth and named it the ā€œMilano-Torinoā€, paying homage to the Italian ingredientā€™s origins (Campari from Milan and vermouth from Turin).

  • Milano-Torino = Campari + sweet vermouth

Gaspareā€™s bar started adding carbonated water to the Milano-Torino. It became popular with American expats during the 1920s, therefore it was named the Americano.

  • Americano = Campari + sweet vermouth + carbonated water

Years later an Italian count named Camillo Negroni ordered a gin-fortified Americano at Cafe Casoni in Florence. It became his regular drink.

  • Negroni = Campari + sweet vermouth + gin

The Ultimate Negroni Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide

The team at punchdrink.com asked 10 of Americaā€™s best bartenders to submit their best Negroni recipe, then blind tasted them all. They discovered the ultimate Negroni recipe.

Here are the top 3 recipes that were submitted.

Perfect Negroni Recipe

Negroni #1 - submitted by Anthony Schmidt | San Diego

Negroni recipe #1 is more gin-forward and calls for a great vermouth. A higher ratio of ginĀ with a slightly higher than average abv (42%). It is also set apart from the others with expressed lemon oils.

  • 30 ml London dry gin
  • 22.5 ml Campari
  • 22.5 ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
Method
  1. In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients
  2. Add ice and stir
  3. Strain over fresh ice (preferably a large cube) into an old fashioned glass
  4. Express lemon oils over the top of the drink
  5. Garnish with a slice of orange

Ā 

Negroni #2 - submitted by Jeffrey Morgenthaler | Portland, Oregon

Negroni recipe #2 is a traditional Negroni made with equal parts and features Cinzano Rosso vermouth (an inexpensive sweet vermouth that has been produced for hundreds of years).

  • 30 ml London dry gin
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml Cinzano Rosso vermouth

Method

  1. In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients
  2. Add ice and stir
  3. Strain over fresh ice into an old fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange


Negroni #3 - submitted by Naren Young | New York City

Negroni recipe #3 is similar to #1 with a higher ratio of gin, just with a different choice of sweet vermouth. It does lack the lemon oils expressed atop the drink.

  • 30 ml London dry gin
  • 22.5 ml Campari
  • 22.5 ml Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth

Method

  1. In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients
  2. Add ice and stir
  3. Strain over fresh ice (preferably a large cube) into an old fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with an orange wedge

How to Make the Perfect Negroni at Home

Although these 3 Negroni recipes are remarkably similar, there are a number of key takeaways that you can learn from. Using a combination of these takeaways will enable you to find your own perfect Negroni recipe.

Negroni Cocktail Recipe

  1. Increase the ratio of gin if you prefer a bolder flavour with less bitterness.
  2. Select a gin with a slightly higher ABV (around 42%) which will further highlight the gin and its featured botanicals.
  3. A classic Negroni uses a London dry gin which typically heroes juniper and citrus but try playing around with your favourite gins.
  4. Campari is a non-negotiable for a classic Negroni but there are locally made alternatives out there.
  5. Pick a great quality sweet vermouth. Cocchi di Torino is an excellent choice although the inexpensive alternatives, such as Cinzano and Martini & Rossi, also make fine choices.
  6. Try expressing lemon oils atop the drink for more aromatics.

Traditionally a London dry gin is used for a classic Negroni but I personally love using our Blood Orange Gin. It features Mediterranean botanicals (which give a nod to the drinkā€™s Italian heritage) and strong citrus notesĀ that complement the other ingredients.

The Most Famous Negroni Variations

Negroni Sbagliato (with prosecco)

  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth
  • Top with prosecco
  • Garnish = orange peel

White NegroniĀ (with gentian liqueur)

  • 45 ml gin
  • 30 ml Lillet Blanc
  • 22.5 ml Suze
  • Garnish = lemon peel

AmericanoĀ (with soda and no gin)

  • 45 ml Campari
  • 45 ml sweet vermouth
  • Top with soda water
  • Garnish = orange slice

BoulevardierĀ (with whiskey)

  • 45 ml bourbon or rye whiskey
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth
  • Garnish = orange peel

Old PalĀ (with whiskey)

  • 30 ml rye whiskey
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml dry vermouth
  • Garnish = lemon peel

Kingston NegroniĀ (with rum)

  • 30 ml Jamaican rum (Smith & Cross)
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica)
  • Garnish = orange peel

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