8 Best Types of Gin for Your Favourite Negroni

September 11, 2023 by

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Choosing the best gin for a Negroni sets the scene for a classic cocktail with perfect balance and gorgeous flavour. The Negroni is a beloved Italian aperitif made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, renowned for its singular blend of bitter, sweet, and botanical notes. In this article, we explore different types of gin that can enhance the Negroni’s distinctive taste, so you can discover which base liquor best suits your palate when stirring up this timeless drink.

How to choose a gin for a Negroni

Two friends clinking Negroni cocktails at a Memorial Day picnic with a vibrant crowd in the background at dusk

When it comes to selecting the ideal gin for your Negroni cocktail, there are a few key factors to consider. Keep it simple and straightforward with our fool-proof guide: 


The type of gin you use makes all the difference. For instance, a London dry gin is the traditional go-to for Negroni lovers. Its juniper-forward profile pairs harmoniously with the other cocktail components.  On the other hand, Plymouth Gin is characterised by a well-balanced and smooth taste. It marries pronounced herbal and citrus notes with a touch of sweetness, offering a versatile canvas for cocktail creativity.


Here are a few factors to consider when it comes to the flavor of the gin you choose to make a Negroni:  

  • Juniper presence. Consider the prominence of juniper in the gin’s flavour. It should be assertive but not overpowering, allowing room for the Campari and vermouth to shine. 
  • Citrus notes. Look for gins with citrus undertones, such as lemon or orange. These can contribute to the cocktail’s refreshing and zesty character. 
  • Herbal complexity. Some gins boast herbal elements like coriander, thyme, or rosemary. These botanicals can complement the Negroni’s herbaceous qualities. 


The aroma also plays a big role. Here is what you should be looking for in a gin:  

  • Delicate botanicals. A gin with a well-balanced and nuanced aroma is ideal. It should offer a subtle hint of botanicals without being overly perfumed. 
  • Freshness. Seek out gins that give off a crisp, clean scent. This freshness will enhance the overall drinking experience. 


To set the scene for a beautifully balanced drink, keep an eye on:  

  • Alcohol content. Ensure the gin you choose has an appropriate alcohol content, typically around 40% ABV. This helps to maintain the cocktail’s equilibrium. 
  • Harmony. Ultimately, the best gin for your Negroni is one that harmonises seamlessly with the Campari and vermouth, creating a cocktail that’s bitter, sweet, and perfectly balanced. 

Read next: 12 Different Types of Gin to Know

What about a White Negroni?

Two white Negronis with lemon peel garnish

The White Negroni is a unique variation of this classic drink that is now cocktail canon. It has a gin backbone that is supported by herbaceous white vermouth and floral gentian liqueur. Made from the roots of the gentian plant, this unique liqueur is bittersweet and stands in for the classic Campari. Bursting with bittersweet layers, it’s nevertheless light and easy and finishes with a touch of floral sweetness. 

When selecting a gin for a White Negroni, you’ll want to embrace the cocktail’s distinctive flavour profile. Here’s how to approach it differently: 

  • Opt for a gin that complements the gentian liqueur’s bitterness. Look for one with a slightly softer juniper presence to avoid overpowering the delicate floral and herbal notes in the drink. 
  • Gins with citrusy undertones, like lemon or grapefruit, can enhance the White Negroni’s refreshing qualities. 
  • Choose a gin with botanicals that resonate with the gentian liqueur’s herbal and floral complexity. This will ensure a harmonious fusion of flavours. 
  • Err on the side of a subtle and clean aroma to let the gentian liqueur and vermouth shine through. 

Interesting right? Now, let’s take a deep dive into different types of gin and how the use of each will impact the overall character of your Negroni.  

More Negroni spin-offs we love: Christmas Negroni | Negroni Sbagliato | Jamaican Negroni 

1. London dry gin

Two Negroni cocktails on an outdoor table showing a London skyline in the distance

London dry gin, the venerable stalwart of the gin world, brings a distinctive character to your Negroni that impacts its flavour, texture, and visual appeal. Crafted through a meticulous distillation process, it starts with a neutral grain spirit, creating a clean canvas for its precise blend of botanicals. London dry gin is also renowned for its juniper-forward taste, lively citrus, and subtle herbal notes.  

This crisp, clean profile adds a refreshing texture to your Negroni and imparts a classic, translucent appearance. Its unwavering commitment to juniper ensures a bold flavour that enhances the cocktail’s bitterness and complexity, making it an ideal choice for Negroni enthusiasts. 

2. Plymouth gin

A Negroni cocktail on an outdoor table at sunset showing Plymouth landmarks in the background

Plymouth gin, another cherished classic, will also impart a distinctive touch to your Negroni, influencing its taste, mouthfeel, and appearance. Hailing from historic Plymouth in England, this type of gin features a higher proportion of root botanicals. This special formula lends a subtly sweeter and earthier character to classic cocktails, creating a delightful contrast to the bitterness of Campari.  

Plymouth gin’s well-balanced and smooth flavour, blending herbal and citrus notes with a touch of sweetness, elevates the cocktail’s complexity. Its protected geographical status ensures that this exceptional profile remains intact, making it an emblematic choice for gin aficionados seeking a Negroni with a hint of maritime heritage. 

Drink Like an Italian: 8 Campari Cocktails to Try 

3. Navy strength gin

Two Negroni cocktails on an outdoor table near a shipping yard showing Navy ships in the background

Navy strength gin, known for its boldness, can significantly impact your Negroni. While its production process is akin to other gins, what makes it distinct is its potency, clocking in at a robust 57% ABV or higher.  Originating from Britain and Holland, it has historical ties to the British Royal Navy which had to carry alcohol with a high ABV to ensure that gunpowder would still ignite in the event of a spill.  

This gin offers a juniper-forward flavour with an intense botanical presence, making it perfect for cocktails needing a strong gin base. Unlike London dry gin, Navy strength’s standout feature is its strength, adding a robust kick to your Negroni and ensuring a cocktail with a punch. 

4. Japanese gin

Two Negroni cocktails on an outdoor table near a shipping yard showing Navy ships in the background

Japanese gin, a rising star in the spirits world, is crafted using traditional methods. It starts with a neutral base liquor, often rice or barley, and incorporates local botanicals like yuzu, cherry blossoms, and green tea. Originating in Japan, it embodies precision and innovation, reflecting the nation’s craftsmanship and respect for nature.  

Japanese gin typically offers a balanced blend of juniper, citrus, and floral notes with a hint of herbal complexity, adding an elegant touch to classic cocktails like the Negroni. This meticulous attention to detail results in a softer, refined taste, often yielding a particularly compelling aroma. Each brand may incorporate regional botanicals for unique flavour profiles, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different kinds.  

Learn more: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World (2024) 

5. Genever gin

Two Negroni cocktails on an outdoor table in the sunlight at a cafe in Amsterdam

Introducing Genever gin into your Negroni will bring a distinct whiskey-esque twist to the classic cocktail. Genever, often seen as the precursor to modern gin, boasts a unique production process, starting with a malt spirit base similar to whiskey. Infused with juniper and malted barley, it provides a richer, maltier foundation.  

Originating in the Low Countries, Genever has deep historical roots dating back centuries and serves as a bridge between gin and whiskey. Its flavour profile combines maltiness, juniper, and subtle botanicals, resulting in a smoother, rounder character, with a warm, grainy essence.  Different regions may infuse their local botanicals or adjust the malt recipe, adding regional variations to this intriguing spirit. For those who appreciate whiskey, Genever may well become the gin of choice for their Negroni. 

Cin cin! The Best 28 Aperitif Cocktails for Any Occasion 

6. Sloe gin

Two Negroni cocktails on a window sill overlooking a pine tree forest with fairy lights in the background

Sloe gin, a quirky relative of the gin family, will have a distinct impact on your Negroni. With roots in England, sloe gin is intertwined with countryside traditions and foraging. Crafted by infusing gin with sloe berries, the process requires patience as the berries have to be macerated, imparting their rich, sweet, and slightly tart flavours.  

The flavour profile of this type of gin offers a luscious, fruity sweetness with hints of sloe berry tartness, a departure from traditional botanical-forward gins. What sets it apart is the star ingredient – sloe berries, creating a unique, fruit-forward gin experience that will add a unique charm to your Negroni. Regional variations may introduce subtle flavour nuances based on sloe berry types and their ripeness.  

7. Flavoured gin

Two White Negronis on a table in a light bright home kitchen with peach blossoms in a vase nearby

Flavoured gin can add an exciting twist to your Negroni by infusing the taste and aroma of different botanicals, fruits, or herbs that offer a burst of unique flavours. Originating in England, this type of spirit has gained global popularity with those on a quest to create fresh taste experiences.  

Flavoured gin typically blends juniper with specific infusions, such as citrus, spices, or berries, resulting in distinctive profiles. As such, unlike London dry gin’s juniper-forward character, flavoured gins can introduce playful and diverse tastes.  Regional differences arise from the choice of botanicals and fruits, with local ingredients shaping unique flavour variations. 

Read next: 12 Easy Dry January Mocktails for a Tasty Reset 

8. Spiced Negroni gin

Spicy Negroni with red chili and fresh lemon garnish

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at making an infused spirit and love a bit of heat in a cocktail, we can highly recommend making your own Spiced Negroni gin. Typically, a Spicy Negroni is made using Campari, mezcal, and Ancho Reyes Chilli Liqueur, but can also get crafty and put the heat into the gin itself! Infusing Bulldog Gin with your choice of chilli peppers is a straightforward process that adds an exciting kick to your cocktails.  

Also see: 15 Best Ancho Reyes Cocktails to Turn up the Heat

How to make gin infused with chilli


  • 1 large jar with a lid (or the gin bottle itself)
  • 1 bottle of gin
  • Fresh chilli peppers (choose based on your heat preference):
    For milder heat: Jalapeno peppers
    For mid-level heat: Serrano peppers
    For hot: Habanero peppers
    For intense heat: Ghost peppers or hotter varieties


  1. Prepare your equipment. Ensure you have a large jar with a lid, or you can use the gin bottle itself if it has enough space for the peppers.
  2. Choose the type of chilli peppers based on your heat preference, and slice them in half.
  3. Place the sliced chilli peppers into the gin bottle, submerging them beneath the liquid to avoid exposure to air. Alternatively, you can place the peppers in a large jar and pour the gin over them.
  4. Allow the peppers to steep in the gin for at least two days. You can extend this period according to your desired flavour intensity, ranging from two hours to several weeks, or even longer.
  5. Periodically taste the gin to gauge the level of flavour and spiciness you prefer. Continue the infusion until you’ve achieved your desired flavour.
  6. Once the desired infusion is reached, strain out the peppers.
  7. Your homemade chilli-infused gin is now ready!

Expert tips for making the perfect Negroni

Festive Negroni cocktails

Creating the perfect Negroni requires attention to detail and quality ingredients. Here are some expert tips to help you mix a flawless Negroni:

  • Ideal ratios: Combine equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth (1:1:1 ratio) for a balanced flavour. Adjust to taste if you prefer a stronger gin presence.
  • Mixing method: Stir the ingredients gently with ice until well-chilled, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish options: A classic Negroni garnish is an orange twist or slice. You can also experiment with a lemon twist for a slightly different citrus note.
  • Interesting variations: If you love a Negroni, but feel a little experimental, we recommend trying an Aperol Negroni, Cynar Negroni, Sushi Rice Negroni, Jamaican Negroni, or Oaxacan Negroni.

Food pairings for Negroni cocktails

Top view of a charcuterie platter on a white table surrounded by pretty tableware and glasses of summery cocktails

Enhancing your Negroni experience involves pairing it with complementary foods and exploring different gin options.

  • Juniper-forward gins: Pair with charcuterie, aged cheeses, or savoury olives to highlight the gin’s botanical flavours.
  • Citrus-forward gins: Serve with seafood dishes like smoked salmon or shrimp ceviche to complement the citrus notes.
  • Herbaceous gins: Match with herb-crusted meats or roasted vegetables to enhance the herbal complexity.

Try a Negroni tasting flight

A TIny Negroni cocktail on a coaster, garnished with a wedge of orange

For a fun home party or event, create a Negroni tasting flight:

  • Choose different gins: Select a variety of gins (e.g., London Dry, Old Tom, and Japanese gin) to showcase diverse flavour profiles.
  • Serve small portions: Offer small, sample-sized Negronis with each type of gin to allow guests to compare and contrast. Tiny cocktails are a great way to try different types of drinks.
  • Provide tasting notes: Include a brief description of each gin and its flavour characteristics to guide your guests through the tasting experience.

By considering these gin types and the impact they will have on the character of your cocktail, you’ll be well on your way to making the perfect Negroni. Remember, this drink’s magic lies in its ingredients’ synergy, and choosing the right gin for your Negroni recipe is a crucial step in achieving that delightful balance. 

Keen to learn more about the art of choosing the right base spirit for your favorite classic cocktail? Visit the Bulldog Gin and Campari websites for more insider insights. In the meantime, remember to tag us when you share our Negroni creations on Instagram!


While London dry gin is the classic choice for a Negroni due to its juniper-forward profile, your gin selection should hinge on your personal taste preferences. Plymouth Gin, for instance, offers a well-balanced, smooth taste with herbal and citrus notes. Consider a gin's juniper presence, citrus notes, herbal complexity, aroma, freshness, alcohol content, and overall harmony with Campari and vermouth to craft the perfect Negroni tailored to your liking.

Yes, you can use flavorued gin in a Negroni to add a unique twist to the classic cocktail. Flavoured gins, such as those infused with citrus, herbs, or berries, can complement the bitter and sweet elements of Campari and sweet vermouth. However, be mindful of the flavour profile to ensure it balances well with the other ingredients.

A classic Negroni is typically garnished with an orange twist or slice. The citrus oils from the orange enhance the drink's aroma and flavour. For a slight variation, you can use a lemon twist for a different citrus note. To garnish, peel a strip of zest, twist it over the glass to release the oils, and then drop it into the drink.

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