If you're only going to make one drink, make it the Negroni. The Negroni is made up of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, making it both instantly recognizable and versatile in terms of ingredients.
The Negroni's components are not to be taken lightly. Gin is a botanical spirit with a complex flavor profile. Sweet vermouth is herbaceous and thick, with raisin and prune undertones. And, well, Campari is Campari. You might despise Campari at first until you fall in love with it, and when you do, you never want your bottle to run out.
About the Negroni
A Negroni is a bitter drink. For some, the bitterness alone is enough to scare them off. For those that can appreciate a classic cocktail from one of the world’s most historic drinking cultures, the Negroni instantly conjures up feelings of warmth, nostalgia and comfort. The bitter up front is quickly followed by rich and sweet flavors and then finishes with a nice dry character.
A Negroni is a bittersweet Italian cocktail made with equal parts, or 3 to 1 parts, of gin and sweet vermouth. The aromatic and dangerously alcoholic negroni was born in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni, an Italian nobleman, ordered an Americano at the Caffe Casoni in Florence, but asked that the soda water be replaced with gin. The bittersweet drink was then taken up by his countrymen.
Best Gins to Use
You're not going to want just any gin for your Negroni. There are several methods to prepare a Negroni, and the method you pick is entirely dependent on the gin you choose. While there are many great gins out there, only about a dozen make for the perfect Negroni experience.
We suggest choosing a clean, classic London dry or navy strength gin - pay attention to the botanicals and taste notes and choose one with a strong finish to balance the Campari's intensity.
Tanqueray No. Ten
Distilled in small batches with whole citrus fruits and several distinctive botanicals, No. Ten is prized for its deep flavor profile, silky mouth feel and complexity. First introduced in 2000, Tanqueray No. TEN has become one of the fastest growing premium gins of all time.
Tanqueray No. TEN gin is a unique addition to the entry-level gin category, with generous citrus notes and a superb balance between juniper and citrus. Designed to have smooth, deep flavors with just enough of a bite, this gin works particularly well in classic cocktails with citrus notes, like the Negroni.
Aviation American Gin
Aviation Gin pushes the limits of sophistication and mixes effortlessly in cocktails. In a nod to its namesake, Aviation Gin is chockfull of flavor: juniper, cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise seed, and dried orange peel. These botanicals are macerated until the flavors have bonded then redistilled in a copper pot still. The result is an extremely smooth and refreshing gin with a hint of sweetness. The distinct complexity carries over to any cocktail – especially the Negroni family of drinks.
With its rich botanical flavor, Aviation is perfect for anyone who wants a new twist on an old classic.
Bombay Sapphire East Gin
This premium gin brings together ten of the world’s finest botanicals to create a distinctive and complex flavor with a clean finish that is perfect on its own, or mixed in a classic Negroni cocktail. The first thing that hits you when you smell it is the hint of extra-fine citrus and juniper. Then, as the vapors rise, the rich aromas from this dazzling blend of ten precious botanicals come through: Thai Lemongrass and Vietnamese Black Peppercorn for zing, Coriander for freshness, Calamondin and Kaffir Lime Leaves for complexity.
Gently infused with the finest botanicals and triple distilled, this premium gin is the perfect ingredient for your next cocktail or Negroni. This is no ordinary gin. Once you taste its smooth and complex flavors, this will quickly become your go-to.
Roku Japanese Gin
Roku Japanese Gin is made with 6 Japanese botanicals nurtured by Japan’s beautiful nature. The result is a gin of unparalleled quality and exquisite taste. Roku has an unmatched soft, round, and subtly sweet taste, with a floral aroma of cherry blossom and green tea. Its unique blend of botanicals creates a multi-layered palate that offers top notes of yuzu and finishes with the sharp yet spicy kick of sansho pepper.
These botanicals impart a floral and sweet aroma to the gin while also providing a harmonious balance to its refined flavor. Roku Gin's superior quality lends itself to being savored as part of a cocktail, and it appears to have been designed to be the perfect base for a Negroni.
Discover Hendrick’s Gin – a blend of the finest hand-picked botanicals, including two types of stills and two different infusion processes. From the enticing scent of rose petals to the subtleties of cucumber, Hendrick’s is a truly original gin with a taste that has to be experienced. Real, fresh cucumber and rose petals are combined with all-natural botanicals to create a floral, yet warmly spiced oak-aged gin that’s perfect for unique cocktails.
The homemade taste of Hendrick’s ensures a crafty cocktail in every glass. The 9 botanicals, including cucumber, rose petals and hints of coriander and orange peel, makes it the ultimate Negroni ‘best mate’ gin.
Plymouth Original Gin
Plymouth Original Gin is a lighter style gin with more citrus-forward notes than traditional gins. The award winsing distillery uses the same blend of botanicals since the mid-1900s, the recipe having adjusted only slightly over time. The result is a smooth, soft and creamy yet full-bodied, gin that’s light, floral and citrusy, with a crisp finish. True to its namesake, it's a premium gin that can only be produced in one place on earth, making it one of life's true pleasures.
Every sip is an expression of the highest quality British craftsmanship. Its flowery, lemony flavor and lighter body make Plymouth-style gin an ideal mixer for a light, refreshing Negroni. Combine this gin with Byrrh rather than vermouth to create a less bitter, more pleasant take on the classic Negroni.
The Botanist Islay
Botanist brings out the best in its local ingredients: an abundance of wild and foraged botanicals from the islands on the west coast of Scotland. This exceptional gin has been distilled with 22 local botanicals, including berries, seeds, and peels that are all delicately selected to create the perfect flavor profile.
This amazing gin has two main flavors: coriander and juniper berry, making up a balance that stands out with subtle citrus tones and a hint of sweet berries that linger as an aftertaste. Blended together, these flavors create a unique gin that’ll give you a Negroni unlike anything you've tasted before.
Brooklyn Hand Crafted Small Batch
Featuring bold juniper notes with fresh citrus followed by lavender, star anise and a hint of coriander, Brooklyn is hand-crafted one small batch at a time using traditional artisan spirit making methods, without compromises. You'll taste the difference with its crisp and refreshing taste.
With botanicals sourced directly from local New York farms and distillers and a celebration of flavors in each bottle, Brooklyn is fresh, complex and perfect for a Negroni. Aromatic and flavorful with a clean juniper kick and a slightly sweet finish, Brooklyn will give you a smooth, crisp, and delicious Negroni.
Making The Perfect Negroni
The Negroni is perfect, but complex. The ingredients are simple, but each adds something special to the drink.
For the ingredients, Campari is easy enough to find, but there is a plethora of gin and vermouth to select from. Campari is a bittersweet orange-red aperitif (and what gives the drink its signature color).
Vermouth is an aromatized wine and is the ingredient which causes the Negroni to be considered a cocktail and not a drink. Only red, sweet, Italian-style vermouth should be used to make the ultimate Negroni.
Finally, there's gin, another bitter alcohol invented in England. In this post, we've described the finest of the best so you can decide which ones you like. These are smooth, classic gins that can stand up to Campari, and we're confident you'll discover a new favorite among them.
To start, pour all three ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, and stir thoroughly. For a stronger "up" drink, strain into a cocktail glass or coupe; for a cooler, more refreshing lowball, pour over ice and gradually dilute. Serve with an orange peel as a garnish. Enjoy!
It's that easy! The traditional Negroni’s “equal parts” formula makes it one of the simplest to recall off the top of your head. Considering the ratio is determined, we'd recommend a 25ml shot of each component for one serve.