The Negroni

 Italian and bitter. [Like most of its fans...]

Italian and bitter. [Like most of its fans…]


Ahhhh, the Negroni. I love this drink. It’s so bitter and Italian [just like me].

It has equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. No OJ, no bitters, and everything is in equal parts. But bartenders hose this up all the time. I have no idea how or why; the recipe is on the back of the friggen Campari bottle! 

I’ve had bartenders make up stories about how this is a “riff on a Manhattan” [it’s not] and that’s why they just used gin, sweet vermouth, and bitters [I’m looking at you Purple Restaurant, Bellevue, WA].

Or that it’s “just a gin martini with a splash of Campari” [ahem, Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany, NJ].

No other drink has its recipe printed on the bottle of its one irreplaceable ingredient!


C’mon, really? Did you miss the whole “equal parts” thing at the top of this post?

  • 1 oz gin
    Every time you use a craft gin in a Negroni a hipster’s beard grows an inch. Craft gins are too flavorful and not dry enough for a Negroni. Plus they’re way too expensive for mixed drinks. Gordon’s, Beefeater, and Tanqueray are fine.

  • 1 oz Campari
    Don’t use anything else except Campari. And don’t you dare use Aperol. If any bartender tells you Aperol is a more approachable Campari punch him in the waistcoat. They are owned by the same company but are different. Campari is 24% abv, Aperol is 14%. Campari is bitter. Aperol tastes like watermelons.

  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
    Here’s where you can be fancy. Carpano’s Antica Formula is my favorite. I also like Punt e Mes but only use half as much because it’s sweeter. Noilly Prat and Dolin are fantastic. Cinzano, Martini & Rossi, and the other shitty vermouths work perfectly fine too.

The Recipe

  1. Put all ingredients in a glass with ice.
    Sure, you can use a fancy crystal mixing glass but you can also use a pint glass. Or any glass. Hell, you could use a plastic jug for all I care. The whole point here is to chill and ever-so-slightly water down the cocktail.

  2. Stir for 30-60 seconds. (I don’t need to explain how to do this.)

  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    I use a julep strainer. You can use two forks. The goal is to separate ice from the liquid. Get creative.

  4. Garnish with an orange twist.
    (Not a slice, a wheel, or wedge. And definitely not lemon. A twist can be as simple as taking a vegetable peeler or knife and peeling of a strip of orange peel, and then expressing the oils into the drink. If “expressing” is too fancy for you, then replace it with “squeezing”. This is NOT just for decoration. The oils in the peel are flavorful and aromatic and complement the drink nicely.)

  5. Drink.