The best Negroni recipe is sweet, earthy, and booze-forward.

Total Time:
5 mins

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, discovering the best Negroni recipe 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.

Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter

While the drink's exact origins remain fairly uncertain, Negroni history says that 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.

Nowadays, there are several creative riffs on the classic Negroni, like the Negroni Sbagliato (also known as the Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco), as well as the Sour Cherry Negroni. Take a page out of his book and enjoy this iconic cocktail thoroughly, and very, very often.


  • 3/4 ounce gin (such as Ford's)

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth

  • orange peel (for garnish)


  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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