The Negroni Cocktail

Negroni cocktail recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
200 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 56mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you're looking for a classic cocktail to enjoy before a meal, few are as satisfying as the famous Negroni. It's a sophisticated aperitif featuring equal parts of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth and so easy that anyone can mix it up.

Campari can be an acquired taste that some people will love, while others will not. In this cocktail, the sweet vermouth and herbal gin offset some of the Italian spirit's bitterness so it's more palatable. This also makes the Negroni a nice drink to use when training your taste buds to enjoy bitter aperitifs.

While it's typically stirred and served on the rocks, the Negroni can also be shaken and strained into a cocktail glass with a lemon twist. Whether shaken or stirred, it's a great way to start off any meal, and sure to impress dinner party guests.

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Negroni
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  2. In an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes, pour the gin, vermouth, and Campari.

    Negroni ingredients in glass
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Stir well.

    Stir Negroni cocktail in a glass
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  4. Gently squeeze an orange twist or slice over the glass, then add it as a garnish. Serve and enjoy.

    Negroni in a glass with a twist of orange
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 

Tips

  • The gin is going to make or break your Negroni. Be sure to choose a high-end gin such as those that you would mix into a martini. Hendrick's, Bombay, and Beefeater are all excellent choices.
  • Choose a sweet vermouth that's of equal quality to the gin and Campari. Carpano Antica, Cocchi, and Dolin are all good choices.
  • If you have to dust off the vermouth bottle, it's likely time to replace it. The fortified wine has a shelf life of just three months once the bottle is open.

Recipe Variations

Adjust the Campari if needed. This is particularly important if you are new to bitter aperitifs, because it is not a taste that everyone is accustomed to—especially Americans. We have learned to enjoy sweet drinks and the occasional dry cocktail, but bitters are in an entirely different realm.

  • If you pour a full-strength Negroni and find that it's too much for you, try "training your palate" to enjoy the bitter taste. Cut the Campari in half and double up on the gin the next time you mix one up. After a while, your taste buds will become used to the unique taste, and you can work back up to the original recipe.
  • Not a fan of gin? Pour vodka instead. The drink will be similar to a Campari cocktail, though the vermouth is a nice addition.

The History of the Negroni

It's widely believed that the Negroni was created and named for Count Camillo Negroni in the 1920s. The story goes that the drink was invented when he ordered an Americano with gin at Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy.

Is it true? There's really no definitive answer. As often happens in the cocktail world, the story has been muddled over the years. Even the question of Count Negroni's existence has been brought into question. This has led to some great debates and a lot of research into the origin of the Negroni.

How Strong Is the Negroni?

The Negroni is made entirely of liquor, and as with all drinks of this sort, it is not a weak drink. It's also not the strongest, though it does give the classic dry martini a run for its money. On average, you can expect a Negroni's alcohol content to be somewhere around 24 percent ABV (48 proof). Take it easy and enjoy one with dinner, then switch to something a bit lighter.

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Article Sources
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  1. Regan G. The Negroni Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore. Penguin Random House. 2015.