On a visit to Italy, we stumbled across the perfect Classic Negroni Recipe in the northern Italian city of Turin. Expertly balanced with just the right mix of sweet, sour and bitter the Negroni will renew your love of all things Italian.
There is something so stylish about this drink, and when it is enjoyed on a balcony overlooking a historic city served by knowledgeable waiters clad in sharp suits, it can’t be bad! However, if you are recreating this drink at home the trick is to make sure that you don’t forget the orange, the hint of citrus adds that something extra.
The History of the Negroni
The Negroni has its roots in early 20th century Italy. According to popular legend, it was invented in Florence in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni, who asked the bartender at Caffè Casoni to strengthen his Americano cocktail by replacing the soda water with gin. The bartender obliged, and the Negroni was born. The drink quickly became a favorite among the European jet set and was eventually introduced to the United States in the mid-1900s. Over the years, the Negroni has remained a staple of cocktail culture and is now considered a classic cocktail around the world, enjoyed for its balance of bitter, sweet, and spirit flavors. The traditional recipe calls for equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari, served over ice with an orange peel garnish.
Tips for making a Classic Negroni
- Use high-quality ingredients – as with any cocktail, using high-quality ingredients will greatly impact the flavor of your Negroni. Make sure to use a good gin and a decent vermouth.
- Stir, don’t shake – stirring the ingredients is the best way to mix a Negroni. Shaking can add too much dilution to the drink, whereas stirring will chill and dilute it to the perfect consistency.
- Use fresh orange peel – the orange peel garnish is an essential component of the Negroni. Be sure to use a fresh, wide strip of peel to get the maximum amount of flavorful orange oil.
- Experiment with different gins and vermouths – while the traditional recipe calls for equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari, you can experiment with different types of gin and vermouth to change the flavor profile of the drink. Try using a different style of gin, such as a London Dry or a New Western gin or switch up the vermouth to a dry or sweet variety.
- Serve it up – a Negroni is traditionally served on the rocks (over ice) in a rocks glass. This allows the ice to slowly dilute the drink as you enjoy it, bringing out different flavors and intensities.
A Classic Negroni Recipe
- 30 mL (1 oz) gin
- 30 mL (1 oz) sweet vermouth
- 30 mL (1 oz) Campari
- Orange peel, for garnish
- Fill a rocks glass with ice and set aside.
- In a mixing glass, combine gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled, about 20-30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into the prepared rocks glass.
- Express the oil from the orange peel over the surface of the cocktail by holding the peel over the drink and giving it a good twist. Discard the peel or drop it into the drink. Enjoy!
Popular Culture Inspiration
We are taking our inspiration from classic Sophia Loren’s 1950’s style. Fitted but classy and oh so Italian.
What to Listen To
A Negroni is a sophisticated cocktail, so pair it with some classic, sophisticated music. See our suggestions below:
- Jazz – Jazz music is a great match for the Negroni, with its smooth, elegant, and sophisticated sounds. Try listening to some classic jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, or Duke Ellington.
- Blues – The blues and a Negroni both have a bit of a bittersweet edge, making them a perfect match. Try listening to artists like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, or Robert Johnson.
- Classic Rock – If you’re in the mood for something a little more upbeat, classic rock is a great choice. Try listening to bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, or The Who.
- Bossa Nova – For a more relaxed, lounge-like vibe, consider listening to some Bossa Nova. Artists like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, and João Gilberto are great options.
Ultimately, the best music to listen to while drinking a Negroni is what you enjoy the most. So get creative and mix and match genres to find the perfect soundtrack for your Negroni experience!
Italian and classic, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is our favorite soundtrack to accompany a classic Negroni. Click here to listen.