The rumor is that this drink was created in Italy in the early 20th century, when a Count asked his bartender to strengthen his Americano by replacing the soda water with gin. What came about was, frankly, a dramatically superior drink, with a stronger, more complex and nuanced flavor profile.
The Negroni is a near-perfect combination of spiritous, sweet, and bitter. I say near-perfect because some people may find the Campari that traditionally supplies that last characteristic a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, Aperol delivers an extremely similar flavor profile but with less … oomph. If you like bitter, go with the Campari. If you prefer things a little less powerful, choose Aperol.
This drink can be served on the rocks, or up. Lately I’ve been going with the latter, but on warm summer evenings, drinking a Negroni on the rocks is a fine choice. It’s also a good low-alcohol option, as both the vermouth and Campari contain less than half the ABV of many spirits.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts. Liquors in parentheses are what I used when I made this recipe, and are included as suggestions.
The Negroni Cocktail Recipe
- Bar spoon
- 1 oz. Gin Van Gogh
- 1 oz. Campari Campari
- 1 oz. Sweet vermouth Noilly Prat
- Combine all ingredients over ice in a pint glass and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. No garnish.