The Negroni is the classic Italian aperitif cocktail dating back to 1919. Creating it is simple, one part each of gin, Italian bitter liqueur and sweet vermouth stirred and served straight up or over ice with an orange twist. If you follow these simple rules, your cocktail will not fail. The fun part is mixing and matching, really choosing how you truly enjoy your cocktail experience to the fullest.
The one ingredient that polarizes people on the subject of the Negroni is the Italian bitters. Americans have started to come around to the flavors of bitter gentian, especially Campari, in the past few years. Campari is filled with classic flavors of orange, secret herbs, and European bitter gentian. This is the ingredient that truly makes the cocktail an aperitif, perfect for stimulating your stomach before a meal. For some, this can be too much bitter for a cocktail. Not to worry, you do not have to miss out on the Negroni experience because of this!
There are many options besides the classic Campari to make a sweeter or more balanced version. Try substituting Aperol for a sweeter cocktail or Casoni (named after the café where the drink was first made) for a more balanced Negroni. Vermouth is integral to this drink as well, and choosing your vermouth carefully makes a world of difference. Want classic balance? Look no further to the rich Carpano Antica. Want juicy fruit and baking spice? Cocchi Di Torino is the way to go. Is your thing bitterness? Punt E Mes may be your favorite thing you haven’t tried. Are you enjoying your summer and want a cocktail to match? Try flipping the script and use Cocchi Americano, its delicate orchard fruit and gentian bitterness will pair perfectly with your patio. Now, on to the gin. The grapefruit citrus and earthy green tea of Beefeater 24 will add extra dimension to your Negroni. Letherbee Original Label Gin will add extra florality and biting spice to a strong, rich Negroni. Do you like to support your local distilleries? Tattersall Gin is filled with mint and orange citrus that would pair perfectly in a lighter styled Negroni. Remember, you can’t go wrong! Here are a few of Tom’s pairings for different situations:
The Summer Negroni:
• Casoni Aperitivo
The Dark Negroni:
The Soft Negoni
The Classic Negroni: