What does the Negroni taste like?
Negroni cocktail ingredients make for bittersweet herbaceous cocktails with lingering dark fruit flavours after every sip. Because you’re only using three ingredients, it’s super important that you use good quality liquor. Other than the gin, you’re going to need vermouth and Campari. The vermouth we chose for our Negroni cocktail recipe is Cinzano Rosso. It’s smooth and slightly sweet with bitter spices and has a lovely botanical finish. The Campari brings a whole other vibrant level to this Italian party with its multi-layered bitter finish. It will never be a Negroni without it.
If you’re a fan of bitter cocktails, learn all about them.
What gin is best for a Negroni?
With only three Negroni cocktail ingredients, there’s no room to hide lousy quality gin. The better your gin, the more delicious and drinkable the cocktail will be. It’s a simple rule to always remember when making cocktails that only use a few ingredients. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
But back to the gin—which can make or break this iconic drink. For our Negroni, we wanted something that would stand up against the strength of Campari. So, to get the job done, we chose Bulldog Gin. Made with a variety of 12 different botanicals, it shines through, giving this Negroni cocktail recipe a smooth and balanced finish. Don’t take our word for it, though – try it for yourself.
Food to serve with Negroni
The bitterness in a Negroni drink means the food you pair with it has got to have some bold flavours. As the Negroni is an aperitif served before dinner, we suggest serving up some salty canapes and classic bruschetta using ingredients like smoked salmon, tomatoes, chorizo, and cream cheese. For a lovely balance of sweet and salty, serve dates wrapped in crispy bacon and if you want to take it one step further, pair your Negroni with salted dark chocolate. Yum! For a more casual affair, a platter filled with strong cheeses and Italian cured meats will do the trick.
Variations of the classic Negroni?
While we’re obsessed with the classic, we always make room for some fun variations for any cocktail. Here are a few of the most exciting ones trending all over the Negroni scene.
To Italianos, sbagliato means a mistake but we definitely don’t think this cocktail should be classed as one. If you adore cocktails with Prosecco, you’ve got to try the Negroni Sbagliatio, which recently got some amazing airtime on TikTok thanks to a candid promo chat between two of the stars of the new Game of Thrones spin-off, House of Dragons.
The ‘broken’ sidekick of the traditional Negroni, this sparkly cocktail follows the same drinks format for the first two ingredients but then strays off course to become something deliciously different. Where the original calls for Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin, the sparkly version combines 45ml Campari, 45ml sweet vermouth, and 45ml Prosecco.
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Mezcal is big right now! This Negroni has a smoky twist and is named after the largest producing region of this popular Mexican spirit.
Best served during summer, The Negroni Tropicale shot to fame over the last two years and is part of the Aperitiki trend (tiki drinks mixed with Italy’s iconic bitter flavours). Take your Negroni on a tropical holiday, by replacing the gin with white rum and adding a splash of pineapple juice (and other delicious tropical things).
This Negroni drink is something truly special. One ounce Campari and Sweet vermouth mixed with 40 millilitres bourbon come together to create a beautifully boozy drink that’s sweet, rich, bitter—and very rewarding.
A Coffee Negroni recipe leaves out the Campari and replaces it with the same amount of cold-brew coffee for a little caffeine kick. Yum-o!
This Negroni cocktail recipe swaps out the gin for a spicy rye whiskey, and replaces the sweet vermouth with Cinzano Vermouth Extra Dry. Add Campari to the mix and you have a cocktail that’s spicy, dry and bitter with lovely notes of rye whiskey.
For more Italian cocktail inspiration, check out our top recipes.