A Negroni is a classic cocktail featuring gin, campari, and sweet vermouth. It's a spirit-forward drink with a bitter profile. Enjoy as an aperitivo, before dinner, to stimulate an appetite.
Why you'll love this recipe
This Negroni recipe is quick and easy to make at home. It comes together with three ingredients!
A classic negroni ratio is 1:1:1, equal parts gin, vermouth, and campari.
The simple formula can be customized to anyone's taste!
My variation tweaked the original ratios to make the cocktail more gin-forward.
Where did the negroni originate?
This Italian cocktail originated in 1919 at a cafe in Florence, Italy when Count Negroni asked for an Americano Cocktail (1 oz campari, 1 oz red vermouth, with a splash of soda water) with gin in place of the club soda.
The rest is history! Since then, the negroni has become incredibly popular, along with its many variations.
What does a negroni taste like?
Negronis have a bittersweet flavor, with hints of juniper from the gin, and sweetness from the vermouth that rounds everything out.
- Mixing glass: I love my sturdy cocktail mixing glass!
- Jigger: This jigger is my favorite because it's a double.
- Bar spoon: Every home bar needs a cocktail mixing spoon, this one comes in a set with a muddler.
- Cocktail strainer: A great durable stainless steel strainer for mixed drinks.
- Citrus peeler: This tool makes getting the orange peel garnish effortless.
- Gin: The better dry gin you use, the better your cocktail will be! The best gin for a Negroni is London dry gin. I prefer Beefeater.
- Campari: This iconic Italian alcohol liqueur is an infusion of water and alcohol with bitter herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit. It's most well known for its red color.
- Vermouth: Vermouth is a fortified wine, meaning liquor has been added to the wine. Once opened, it should be refrigerated. Using sweet vermouth in this recipe helps to balance the bittersweet Campari.
How to make campari negroni
Traditionally, a Negroni is stirred over ice in a rocks glass, then garnished with a slice of orange or a simple orange peel.
I prefer to serve a Negroni up, meaning the drink is stirred over ice, then strained and served without ice in a cocktail glass.
To make straight up: Stir gin, Campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass, twist a 1" orange peel over the drink, and garnish with peel.
Do negronis have ice?
There are two common ways to serve a Negroni: on the rocks or straight up. The choice is yours!
When to serve a negroni
The Negroni is a sophisticated cocktail that's complex and refreshing. It's often enjoyed as a summer aperitif, however I think of it as a fall cocktail.
It's perfect for sipping during happy hour or serving during a party!
As with all cocktail recipes, I encourage you to experiment! I hope my negroni straight up inspires you to start with the traditional recipe, then play around from there.
- Aperol Negroni: Use Aperol instead of Campari. Aperol is also an Italian bitter apéritif, but is sweeter than Campari.
- Cynar Negroni: Use Cynar instead of Campari.
- Negroni Swizzle: Top your Negroni with club soda.
- The Boulevardier: Replace the gin with bourbon.
- White Negroni: Replace sweet vermouth with Lillet Blanc and Campari with Suze.
- Negroni Sbagliato: Use sparkling wine instead of gin!
- Mezcal Negroni: Swap out the gin for mezcal.
- The Old Pal: Use Canadian rye in place of gin and dry vermouth in place of sweet.
- Frozen Negroni Cocktail: Blend the cocktail with orange juice and ice.
- Dear Jane: Add a splash of elderflower liqueur!
- The Cardinale: Use dry vermouth instead of sweet.
If you like this homemade cocktail, try these easy cocktails next:
- 1 ½ ounces dry gin
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- ½ ounce Campari
- Orange slice or peel
- Stir gin, campari, and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass until very cold, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange slice or peel.