Salty Caramel Negroni

Nutty manzanilla sherry, dark rum, and salty pickle brine give this variation on the classic Negroni a delicious, savory twist.

Salty Caramel Negroni

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Total Time:
5 mins
1 serving

There are seemingly endless variations on the Negroni, the classic Italian cocktail made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. There’s the Negroni Sbagliato, which features a bit of sparkling wine, or the White Negroni, which leans on bittersweet Suze; and now there’s the Salty Caramel Negroni, which contains neither sea salt nor caramel but somehow tastes like the most delicious version of those things. Developed by bartender and sommelier Chantal Tseng, this cocktail calls for two of the classic components of a Negroni — Campari and sweet vermouth — but also includes dark rum and nutty manzanilla sherry for depth and complexity. It gets a splash of salty and briny pickle juice to balance out the sweetness, an unexpected but welcome savory addition.

Manzanilla sherry is much like fino sherry, which is perhaps a bit more well known. Both are made from the Palomino grape, aged without oxygen exposure, and have fresh citrus and floral notes. Manzanilla, though, is aged and matured exclusively in the bodegas of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a town near the sea in Spain with a unique climate. This sherry brings a bright, floral aroma to any cocktail, with lovely light acidity on the palate.

Tseng’s Salty Caramel Negroni takes advantage of the subtle nuttiness of the manzanilla, and the pairing of the dark rum and sherry furthers the depth and complexity of the cocktail. Like any great dish, seasoning is key to balance. The salty pickle juice intensifies the sweetness of the spirits and the bitter citrus notes in the Campari. The result is a Negroni with rich caramel and molasses aromas and satisfying salinity with a gorgeous deep-red hue from the combination of dark rum and Campari. The drink gets garnished with a thick strip of orange rind, which adds a gorgeous aromatic cloud to the drink as you go to sip it.


  • 1 ounce dark rum (such as Dos Maderas 5+5)

  • 3/4 ounce Campari

  • 3/4 ounce manzanilla sherry (such as La Cigarrera)

  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth (such as Dolin Rouge)

  • 1/2 tablespoon pickle juice

  • Orange peel strip, for garnish


  1. Combine rum, Campari, sherry, vermouth, and pickle juice in a mixing glass. Add ice; stir until well combined, about 15 seconds.

  2. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with orange peel strip.

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