Love it or hate it, it’s great that over the years this classic little drink has become so well known around the world, it even has an entire week dedicated to it!
The fact that a small, pink, bitter, Gin drink could become so popular is a real indicator of just how far drinking culture has come, and that’s a fact that we can all be happy about!
Learn how to make a classic Negroni with our recipe card, guides and videos.
- 25 ml GIN (1 part)
- 25 ml SWEET VERMOUTH (1 part)
- 25 ml BITTER APERITIVO (1 part)
How to make it
- 1 – Add all ingredients to your mixing glass then fill with ice.
- 2 – Stir to chill and add dilution. As the alcohol strength is already lowered by inclusion of vermouth and bitter aperitivo the stirring process is fairly brief, so be careful not to over dilute.
- 3 – When the perfect dilution point is reached (remember, use your nose and palate to find that exact moment), strain ingredients into a lowball glass.
- 4 – Fill glass with ice, ideally large block.
- 5 – Garnish and serve.
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Get nerdy with it
GIN – As always, your choice here will have an impact on your recipe and you should pick what you like to drink. However, the other ingredients in this recipe are powerful and therefore we would recommend picking a robust gin, like a classic London Dry. Even more specifically, a citrus led gin with orange peel is perfect, as it will make sure your gin isn’t lost in the mix, whilst complimenting the other ingredients.
BITTER APERITIVO – The classic Negroni calls for Campari, and that will still do the job very nicely. Other bitter aperitivos are now readily available, and there are some great alternatives out there.
SWEET VERMOUTH – Your choice here is important and will have a huge impact on the final drink. They all have different characteristics and there are many to choose from today…which is a great problem to have! You can also use other red aromatised wines like Dubonnet or Byrrh.
Noilly Prat Rouge or Dolin Rouge are great vermouth options. Antica Formula, is very popular and it IS delicious. However we would say it’s too rich and vanillin to use on it’s own in a Negroni. It’s fantastic in a blend of vermouth though.
As we discussed for the Manhattan, you can make a blend of different sweet Vermouths that you like, then bottle them to create your ultimate sweet Vermouth. Store your blend in a sealed and sterilised glass bottle in the fridge, it’s then ready to drink whenever you are.
We love to do this, and you can go beyond vermouth in your blend by adding a dash or two of peated Scotch for a hint of smoke, or a splash of sloe gin to dial up the fruit notes. Take it in whatever direction you want to personalise your cocktails.
Why we chose this recipe for you
Like the Martini and the Manhattan, this is a cocktail that people become passionate about and over time, make the recipe their own. It’s fairly acceptable to just order a Negroni in a bar without a full list of instructions. However, when you know what you love you’ll get very particular about how you want it made, and with what ingredients.
The traditional service method is to simply pour the three ingredients into a lowball glass over ice, add a slice of orange and be done. This is OK, but consider it will take some time for the ingredients to chill, and for the required dilution to be added. Not ideal.
Our advice is to add the ingredients to a mixing jug and briefly stir with ice first, then serve when it’s chilled and perfectly diluted. This way you don’t have to wait, or impatiently stick you finger into your glass to stir it yourself, it’s ready to drink when served!
Not everyone agrees of course, and spirited late night discussions have even ended up in print in well known booze publications. That was a fun night!
We recommend focussing on what matters most, such as your choice of Gin, Vermouth or Bitter Aperitivo and the ratio you want.
When it comes to great cocktails, it’s always about the ratio. The classic calls for equal parts of Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Campari. This is a great ratio that doesn’t really need to be messed around with, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
For example, we did a recipe years ago where the Gin was infused with a delicious Oolong Tea. The tannins from the tea meant that the Campari needed to be backed out a little and therefore the ratios of the drink needed to be slightly reworked.
The garnish is the recipe’s final ingredient, and the classic Negroni calls for a slice of orange. However there have been modern trends towards garnishing with a twist of orange instead. We like the best of both worlds. The little bit of sweetness and freshness you get from the slice of orange as it soaks into the drink is really important and removing it diminishes the drink. That said, a twist delivers delicious zesty aromatics that add a freshness as you bring the drink to your mouth. Conclusion…use both! Add a slice of fresh orange to the drink, then express an orange twist over the top and discard.
Hopefully you’ve learnt how to make a classic Negroni and are now enjoying one. As always, don’t forget to show us what you made by tagging us!
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