This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Learn how to make a Classic Negroni Recipe at home! Refreshingly dry and bitter, this Italian aperitif comes together in 5 minutes using equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.
For more complex classic cocktail ideas, try the French aperitif Abbey Cocktail or my Sparkling Negroni Punch.
Bitter, but delicious… introducing the Negroni!
A Classic Negroni Cocktail is made with equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari. That’s it! No special equipment or fancy bar tools are required for Drinks International’s second best selling classic cocktail. Sip slowly to enjoy the full experience during evening get-togethers or in a bubble bath.
A Negroni cocktail is as easy to make as it is to sip. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass, stir with ice, then pour and enjoy. It’s a strong aperitif with a bitter and dry flavor which, admittedly, can take some getting used to. Once you do, though, you’ll have a hard time staying away.
What is a Negroni?
The Negroni (pronounced nuh-grow-knee) is a stirred cocktail that is said to have come from Florence, Italy during the 20th century. Trying to replicate the Americano cocktail, the first Negroni was made with equal parts gin (instead of soda water), sweet vermouth, and Campari. This stronger Americano variation turned into the deeply flavorful, bitter, and aromatic cocktail it is today!
What’s in a Negroni?
The recipe for a Negroni is simple and what makes it such a special cocktail. Equal parts gin, Campari, and vermouth are all you need; nothing else. Any substitutions will completely change the recipe.
Learn about the 3 ingredients and how to choose the right brand of each to find your perfect flavor combination:
When choosing the gin for your Negroni, go with a brand you already enjoy drinking and that fits in your budget. The brand you use in your gin and tonics will work just as well in a Negroni. For ideas, use Liquor.com’s list of the Best Gin for Negronis.
Sweet vermouth is the best option for Negronis because it contains more sugar, has an earthy flavor, and a darker color. These qualities complement the dry gin flavor and red, herby Campari.
You can make a Negroni with dry vermouth if that’s what you already have at home. Just know that the result will be much more dry and aromatic.
Campari is, surprisingly, the star of the show here! It’s an aperitif made with the infusion of fruit, herbs, alcohol, and water, and is mostly responsible for a Negroni’s signature bitter flavor. If you learn to love the flavor, I recommend sipping on a small glass before a meal is served.
How to make a classic Negroni cocktail
A Negroni aperitif is stirred together and ready for sipping in less than 5 minutes:
Step 1: Stir all ingredients and ice together in a cocktail mixing glass for 30 seconds
Step 2: Pour over ice and garnish with an orange twist. Twist the orange peel over top of the negroni for notes of zesty citrus.
Simplicity is the name of the game in this recipe for a Negroni. The same even applies to the serving directions!
Prepare your cocktail the right way using these tips:
Best glassware for Negroni
Serve your cocktail in a rocks glass (old fashioned glass). It’s a no-nonsense option that’s best for sipping cocktails and you likely already have it or a similar version at home.
Stirred, not shaken
A Negroni is stirred with ice and never shaken. This is because the rapid stirring motion slightly melts the ice and dilutes the liquor, making the cocktail more enjoyable to drink.
Serve with ice
Once the ingredients are properly stirred and diluted in the mixing glass, it’s best to strain them into your rocks glass with ice. Serving a Negroni with ice will not only chill the cocktail but further dilute the very strong ingredients.
Garnish or no garnish?
The best garnish for a Negroni cocktail is an orange twist. A thick and rustic orange peel is twisted directly above the cocktail, releasing its oils and aromas right into the drink. Tuck the twisted peel into the glass and you’re done.
Serve before a meal
A Negroni is a classic Italian aperitif. Serve it before the meal to warm up your digestive system! Hand your guests a glass before dinner is ready or before the party snacks are put out.
Frequently asked questions
Why does my Negroni taste bitter?
If your Negroni tastes bitter, you’re doing something right! Campari is responsible for the cocktail’s classic bitter flavor and it can take some getting used to. Keep sipping… you’ll get there!
If you’re really having a hard time with the bitterness, reduce the Campari to only 1 ounce (or .5 ounces in each cocktail) to better achieve that sweet and bitter balance.
What’s the best gin for a Negroni?
Use a dry gin when making a Negroni. According to Bon Appetit, dry gin is not made with additives, flavors, or sweeteners; only natural ingredients, like juniper berries and botanicals. Examples of dry gin brands include Beefeater, London Dry, and Tanqueray.
What’s the best vermouth for a Negroni?
There are two types of vermouth to choose from: sweet and dry. Sweet always balances best in dry or bitter cocktails, making sweet vermouth the best option in a Negroni.
My sweet vermouth of choice is Cocchi Torino. If you need more ideas, check out these 7 recommendations from The Spruce Eats.
How do you make a large batch?
I include directions on how to make a big batch of Negronis in my Ultimate Guide to Batching Cocktails. This Sparkling Negroni Punch also makes enough for a crowd!
5 Minute Classic Negroni Recipe
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 ounces sweet vermouth
- 2 ounces Campari
- orange twist to garnish
- Stir all ingredients and ice together in a cocktail mixing glass for 30 seconds.
- Pour over ice and garnish with an orange twist.
Anthony Doherty says
The Classic Negroni is a favorite of mine. My variation, the Cremona, substitutes brandy for the gin (Korbel works very well), and uses about 3/4 oz. red vermouth and 1/2 oz. Campari. It's named for the Italian city where the great violin maker Stradivarius worked. I once saw a symphony orchestra rehearsing on a stage where the lighting technician was setting lighting cues. One was a blend of white and red lights, which made all the string instruments glow with the exact beautiful color of the Cremona cocktail.
Michelle Ferrand says
That variation sounds amazing. I love the story too. Thanks for sharing!