A Negroni is sort of like an American Girl doll or Lego set, except, you know, for adults. You can easily customize it and make it your own, and there are lots of variations you can mess around with, but let’s start with the classic version. It’s perfect for a pre-dinner drink, it’s great for warm afternoons, and it’s ideal for when you’re lying on a fluffy rug near a fireplace in a dark cabin or perhaps even an apartment. As an added bonus, few drinks are harder to mess up.
How It Tastes: Strong, Bitter, Summery
Drink If You Like: Boulevardier, Martini
- A rocks glass
- 1.25 ounces gin
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- Orange twist for garnish
Step One: Sweet Vermouth
Add an ounce of sweet vermouth to your mixing glass, then place your vermouth back in the fridge (where it should live).
Step Two: Campari
If you’re unfamiliar, Campari is an aperitif from Italy (where the Negroni was allegedly invented by someone named Count Negroni circa 1911). It’s incredibly bitter - but that’s fine, because you have the sweet vermouth to balance it out. Eventually, you’ll realize that all cocktails are just equations and balancing acts. Until that happens, add one ounce of Campari to your mixing glass.
Step Three: Gin
Traditionally, Negronis are made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. But you’ll notice that Campari and sweet vermouth are both pretty thick and tend to dominate the cocktail, so let’s go ahead and give it a quick update. (It isn’t 1911 anymore, and Count Negroni probably had different tastes than you and me.) Pour 1.25 ounces of gin into your mixing glass.
Step Four: Stir
Add ice to your mixing glass, and stir for 20 seconds. Always stir your Negronis. This is important, and it’s actually Rule No. 3. Next, pour your Negroni into a rocks glass filled with either one large cube or as many standard-sized cubes as your glass can hold. Next, cut a thick orange twist (about the size of a Band-Aid), squeeze it over the top of your drink, and stick it in the side. That first sip should make you a Negroni person.
Liked what you drank? Try the Negroni Sbagliato next.