Negroni, The Italian Influenced Refreshing Aperitif

Negroni is a cocktail, made of equal parts gin, usually sweet vermouth, and Campari. Campari being the key ingredient with its distinct, almost medicinal flavour, that is mellowed, but strengthened with the addition of the other two ingredients. Not a weakened flavour by any means.

Think of it as 1/3, plus 1/3, plus 1/3, to make that whole, and you’ll never go wrong.

My first memories of Campari was of my Danish cousin drinking it mixed with soda water in Copenhagen to settle her stomach and aid in her digestion. Yes, Campari is considered a stomach bitter, a digestif to help with the digestive enzymes within the stomach. Since I suffer with IBS and digestive problems, it seems a good fit to me.

Beyond that, it tastes refreshing, and if you have as some would say, “the acquired taste” for this combination of spirits, then this apéritif may be just right for you.

Distinct enriching tastes dates as far back as 1920

This delicious union of such distinct enriching tastes dates as far back as 1920 from French Cocktail books. Although Campari mixed with Vermouth are well documented from the 1800’s. It’s reported that Italian drinks called Negroni, and contain Gin, date as far back as 1919.

Even though, it’s not with 100% certainty of the drinks origin or when, it is believed the name came from an Italian Count who loved the meld of ingredients and drank it with wild abandon who developed quite a reputation as a fun loving chap, amongst the men, and of course the ladies.

None the less, it’s delicious, and fast becoming one of my favourites! 

For the most part the key ingredient is the Campari, and can be made in several different variations. 

  • Pepperoni: Uses Dr. Pepper in place of Sweet Vermouth
  • Aperol Negroni: Uses Aperol in place of the Campari
  • Dutch Negroni: Uses Jenever for the London Dry Gin
  • Negroni Sbagliato: Uses sparkling White Wine or Prosecco in place of Gin
  • Negroscan: Uses traditional Scandinavian Akvavit instead of Gin
  • Agavoni or Tegroni: Uses Tequila in place of Gin.
  • White negroni: Gin, Lillet blanc, and Suze
  • Unusual negroni: gin, Aperol and Lillet Blanc
  • Pisco Negroni: Uses Pisco in place of Gin.
  • National Negroni: Uses Chilean Herbal Liqueur Araucano in place of Gin

I’ve yet to try them all, and I will, and even concocting my own which I’ll be sure to share with you all.

Make it the old fashioned way

Yet, when it comes to the original, I make it the old fashioned way of pouring each ingredient over ice in my glass of choice. Usually a vintage, short rocks glass, cause that’s how I roll. 

Gently stir it, and garnish with an orange slice or the twisted rind.

Let it sit for 30 seconds and then catch the first sip, before the ice has had a chance to dilute it further. 

Of course you could just stir it with the ice then strain it into your desired glass and top it off with your garnish of choice and enjoy.