Negroni

Despite the Negroni's endless capacity for shape-shifting, this recipe is for the most classic version of the cocktail — think of it an ode to its comforting simplicity. Made with vibrant red Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin, the drink is balanced with a combination earthy, bitter, and botanical flavors.

Negroni
Photo: Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter
Servings:
1

In case you missed it: This simple Italian cocktail has taken over bar menus across the United States. Award-winning bar programs like that of New York City's iconic Dante boast entire Negroni menus filled with creative, enticing variations on the bitter, slightly sweet cocktail. In 2013 Campari, even teamed up with drinks publication Imbibe to launch Negroni week, an entire week in mid-September dedicated to celebrating the cocktail. For Contributing Editor, Brian Freedman, sipping a perfectly mixed Negroni can be an emotional, highly transportive experience. "Like so many of us, cocktail hour became a ritual in our house pretty early on in 2020, a single buoy of normalcy that we could cling to in the otherwise choppy seas of navigating a pandemic," writes Freedman. Negronis became the drink of choice during happy hour at his home: "Negronis were a daily dalliance…[It's] refreshing, not too boozy, and unerringly cheerful. Plus, it reminded us of Italy," he adds.

While the Negroni's exact origins remain fairly uncertain, its first recorded appearance dates all the way back to 1919. It's said that Count Camillo Negroni, (yes, a real Count named Negroni), frequented a Florentine caffe where he often ordered an Americano. One afternoon, he asked the bartender to strengthen his Americano with gin in lieu of soda water, and thus, the Negroni came to be.

When Freedman could finally return to Italy in mid-2022, reuniting with the Italian cocktail in Italy was a non-negotiable. His emotional experience is an ode to the perfection of the cocktail: "the balance between sweet and savory was both bracing and comforting. It was energetic yet not overly so, kissed with a subtle fruit character that was instantly cauterized by a backbone of taut bitterness, of juniper- and herb-borne depth." Though Freedman's love for the Negroni is profound, the booze-forward cocktail (after all, gin, Campari, and vermouth all contain varying levels of alcohol, meaning the Negroni wastes no space) truly deserves the adoration it receives.

Take a page out of his book and enjoy this iconic cocktail thoroughly, and very, very often.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce gin (such as Ford's)

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

  • orange peel (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add the gin, vermouth and Campari and stir well. Garnish with the orange peel.

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