The Negroni is a classic cocktail that features on almost every cocktail menu. Simple, classy and deliciously strong - the Negroni is loved for its flavour and gall. This bitter cocktail is the definition of an Aperitivo cocktail - perfect to be enjoyed before a delicious meal. With a rich history since its birth in Italy over 100 years ago, the Negroni is one of the most popular cocktails ever created. There is no denying that the Negroni is an acquired taste. However, once mastered with the perfect measurements, ice cubes and glass, this is sure to be a favourite.
Classic Negroni Cocktail Recipe
Wondering how to make a Negroni? You’ll be delighted to learn that the classic Negroni cocktail is one of the most simple to create. Negroni ingredients include Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and orange, combined in an easy to remember 1 to 1 ratio.
One of the reasons why the Negroni is so popular is because no matter where in the world you are, if you order a Negroni at a bar, you can be confident that you'll be getting a great cocktail due to its simplicity. You can’t go too far wrong with the Negroni cocktail, so long as you use the highest quality ingredients and mix them delicately as opposed to in a shaker.
- 30ml Gin
- 30ml Campari
- 30ml Sweet Vermouth
For the garnish:
- Square Ice Cube
- Orange peel
- Standard lowball cocktail glass
- Mixing spoon
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice
- Stir with a mixing spoon until the cocktail is chilled
- Strain into a low ball glass filled with large ice cubes or one large ice cube
- Garnish with an orange peel.
Use a square or sphere ice cube
The beauty of the Negroni is its strength. In fact, rumour has it that this classic cocktail was created by the Italian Count Camillo Negroni who demanded that his bartender strengthen his favourite cocktail by replacing the usual soda water with gin. It makes sense then to use large ice in your Negroni, chilling it without diluting it and the intense flavours too much. You can learn more about which ice to use for each cocktail type in our handy guide.
Stir the ingredients with a spoon
Instead of using the classic cocktail shaker to blend the ingredients in a Negroni, the ingredients should be stirred together. There really is no need to shake a Negroni as the densities of each ingredient are fairly similar meaning that they can be incorporated very efficiently by just stirring them together. Shaking your cocktail over ice may dilute the drink and diminish the strength that the Negroni is so well loved for.
Use an Old Fashioned cocktail glass
Knowing which glass to use for your cocktail can make or break your drink. A lowball cocktail glass really makes the Negroni, as the thick base allows the ingredients to muddle together and bind with the alcohol so that every sip has the perfect blend of each ingredient.
Use a high quality spirits
The ingredients in a Negroni are very simple, and this means that they each stand out. The best vermouth for a Negroni is the Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, which will add flavour and authenticity to your Negroni. Likewise, the best gin for Negroni would be a high quality gin like Tanqueray. If you’re opting for the traditional bitters taste, remember that a Campari Negroni is often considered the classic.
The Negroni has fast become one of the most diverse and varied drinks. Synonymous with class and oozing strength, many bartenders have made their mark on the drink by experimenting with different flavours. Discover the main variations of the cocktail that are firm favourites:
Aperol can be thought of as Campari’s little sister, with added sweetness and flair. If you want a cocktail that is equally as punchy and strong but slightly less bitter, then the Aperol Negroni is ideal. To create this variation, simply replace the Campari with Aperol and stir along with all of the other ingredients.
The NIO Negroni
Our own variation of the classic Negroni has scooped the top Master accolade at the Spirits Business 2021 Spring Blind Tasting awards. Judges expressed “orange peel on the nose, clove and a nice bitterness on the palate”, when savouring the NIO Cocktails Negroni. Classed as the king of Italian Campari cocktails, our Negroni cocktail perfectly blends equal parts of Tanqueray Gin, Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, Campari and Angostura Aromatic Bitters for a punchy drink that's ideal to have just before dinner. This would be considered a classic negroni expertly mixed in the birthplace of the cocktail - Italy.
The Negroni Sbagliato
You can create this variation by adding sparkling white wine or prosecco instead of Gin to make it sweeter and a little more glamorous. This is the ideal variation for celebrations or cocktail parties to add a touch of elegance to the simple Negroni we all know and love.
The predecessor to the Negroni includes Campari, vermouth and a splash of soda water. The rumour is that the Americano was ditched by Negroni himself for watering down the cocktail and making it too weak. Instead, he wanted to include Gin in its place. However, if you prefer less alcoholic cocktails you may want to opt for the refreshing and light addition of soda water instead of gin.
This variation of the Negroni uses whiskey instead of gin for a more sophisticated flavour. Our own Boulevardier uses premium Bulleit Bourbon with Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, Campari and Angostura Aromatic Bitter. With its bold flavour and vibrant colouring, the Boulevardier is a wonderfully unique cocktail.
This variation on the classic uses gin, Lillet Blanc and Suze liqueur to create a paler and lighter negroni. Curious? Sample our Portofino Dry Gin collection cocktail box featuring our very own Portofino White Negroni.
If you loved learning about how to create a perfect negroni, why not discover the cocktails you can create with gin in our premium gin cocktail guide? Plus, explore our negroni guide, food pairings for the negroni cocktail mixing hacks for more inspiration.