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Classic Negroni Cocktail

This classic cocktail is incredibly easy to make and is a refreshing bitter/sweet drink made with Campari. Garnish with an orange peel or wedge, then serve on the rocks!

Want to make an easy cocktail that’s practically impossible to mess up? Meet the Negroni. This Italian cocktail is made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, then garnished with an orange peel or wedge. It has a bright ruby-red color and tastes slightly bitter, fruity, and spicy all at the same time. Since this drink is mixed with ice and then served on the rocks, it’s a cool and refreshing sip for hot summer evenings.

I love drinks made with sweet vermouth because it always reminds me of that scene in Groundhog Day when Andie MacDowell’s character orders “sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist.” Yes, I have watched that movie way too many times!

What is a Negroni Cocktail?

A Negroni is essentially an Italian spin on the classic Americano cocktail. As the story goes, the drink originated in Florence, Italy around 1919 when General Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni asked a bartender at the Caffe Giacosa to make him a stronger version of an Americano. The bartender decided to use gin instead of soda water, then used an orange peel for garnish instead of a lemon peel. The general loved his drink and the Negroni was born!

Negroni cocktail on the rocks with an orange peel and a mixing glass filled with ice

What’s in this Drink?

A Negroni is made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Similar to the Last Word cocktail, the Negroni is an equal parts drink. This means that it is made of equal amounts of all the main ingredients (garnishes excluded). Make sure you use high-quality gin! Because Campari and vermouth have strong flavors, you need a good quality gin to balance everything and prevent the gin from getting lost in the drink.

Although you can technically serve a Negroni in any kind of glass, it is usually served in an old-fashioned “lowball glass” on the rocks. “On the rocks” means that the drink is served over ice cubes instead of “straight-up” (without ice). Garnish with an orange peel or a thinly sliced orange wedge.

How to Make a Negroni

Making a Negroni is super easy! Simply prep your garnish of choice, then pour the liquid ingredients into a tall glass with ice. Mix everything together until the drink is cold, then pour into a lowball glass with ice cubes. Add your garnish and start sipping.

Variations

There are several variations of a Negroni cocktail that you might want to experiment with:

  • Old Pal: Use whiskey instead of gin and dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth.
  • Americano: This is the drink that came before a Negroni! Use soda water instead of gin and a lemon peel instead of orange peel.
  • Negroni Sbagliato: Use Prosecco instead of gin.
  • Mezcal Negroni: Use mezcal instead of gin.
  • Boulevardier: Use 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon whiskey instead of the gin.
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Classic Negroni Cocktail

Negroni cocktail on the rocks with an orange peel and a mixing glass filled with ice
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This classic cocktail is incredibly easy to make and is a refreshing, bitter drink made with Campari. Garnish with an orange peel or wedge, then serve on the rocks!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel or slice, for garnish

Instructions

Prep your garnish. With a vegetable peeler, remove a strip of peel from an orange. Set aside. (If you are using an orange wedge, slice off a thin piece of orange and set aside.)

Mix your drink. Fill a tall mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the gin, Campari, and sweet Vermouth, then stir everything together until the liquid is cold, 30-40 seconds.

Pour. Add ice cubes to a lowball glass, then strain the drink into the glass.

Garnish and serve. Run the inside of the orange peel around the rim of your glass, then garnish the drink with the peel. If you’re using an orange wedge, similarly run the wedge around the rim of your glass and then garnish the drink.

Keywords: negroni drink, gin cocktail, vermouth cocktail, campari cocktail

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