On the subject of cocktail trends: you’d have to be living in a place without bars (a sad fate!) to have missed the ascendency of the Negroni. Sweet, bracing, and bitter, perfect to whet the appetite or round off a meal, the cocktail has been (quite literally) on everyone’s lips of late.
The best thing about a beautifully balanced Negroni is its simplicity. Legend has it that the drink was invented in Florence when the singular Count Negroni thought his Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, fizzy water) could do with an extra kick. He requested the fizzy water be swapped out for gin, and the rest is history. Today, the drink consists of equal parts of the three ingredients, stirred and served over ice with an orange slice garnish. It’s beautifully simple to recreate at home – and for those who like to get a bit creative behind the bar, it also invites a bit of playful meddling. Why not try a few alternative Negroni recipes?
Take our lead, then, and test out a new take on the classic. From the White Negroni – one of 2015’s trendiest drinks – to our Head Distiller’s Negroni (served straight up), these are simply delicious riffs on a timeworn classic.
Negroni (Straight Up)
To begin our Negroni recipes, our Master Distiller Jared Brown has worked to perfect his formula. The following may not sound so radically different from the original, but slightly altered proportions and the fact that the drink is served without ice lead to what he calls “a softer, richer Negroni.”
35ml sweet vermouth
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker or pitcher. Stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with badly cut orange twist (leave some pulp on the back side).
Next up, the White Negroni – so named because the roseate hue of the original is absent here, thanks to the fact that Lillet subs in for sweet vermouth and Suze replaces the Campari. It may look lighter, but make no mistake: this drink isn’t only on-trend for 2015, it’s also just as potently delicious as the original.
40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
2 or 3 dashes of orange or grapefruit bitters
Lemon twist to garnish
Combine ingredients in an ice filled rocks glass or tumbler. Stir until well chilled. Serve with a lemon twist.
Sipsmith Sloe Negroni
Looking for a richer Negroni that’s redolent of winter fruit? There’s nothing we like more than a Sloe Negroni, with doesn’t replace regular gin but instead adds sloe gin to the equation. You’re in for something rich, lovely – and with quite a kick to it.
15ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin
15ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
15ml sweet vermouth
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir until well chilled. Garnish with an orange wedge.
Orange & Cacao Negroni
Looking for a new summertime sip? This twist on a Negroni is delightfully simple to make as it’s three ingredients in equal parts.
40ml Lilet Blanc
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir until well chilled. Garnish with an orange twist.
Translating to “incorrect” or “mistaken” Negroni, a Negroni Sbagliato may not rank among the Negroni recipes that meet the Count’s approval – after all, it swaps out the gin for a lighter glug of Prosecco – but you’d be hard-pressed to find something that tastes better on an Italian piazza in the middle of a summer afternoon. Or in lots of other places, too.
25ml sweet vermouth
Combine the ingredients in an ice-filled rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange wheel or twist.