Negroni cocktail: Introduction and description

Refined, effortless and quintessentially Italian – as cocktails go, the negroni is about as sexy as it gets. And if you’re wanting to learn how to make a negroni, you might be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is. This killer negroni recipe will add a dash of elegance to any event. And the best bit? There’s minimal effort involved. We’ll drink to that.

The perfect blend of bittersweet amaro and herbal gin, rounded off by a smooth red vermouth – it's pretty clear why the negroni cocktail is so popular. But how did it come about? Well, like all good stories, it all started when a guy walked into a bar. This guy was Count Negroni, and on this particular day he happened to be craving something stronger than his usual americano – a blend of Campari, vermouth and soda water. His good friend (who also happened to be the bartender) swapped the soda for gin and added the orange peel garnish, and the negroni as we know it was born.

A hundred years on, and the negroni cocktail has become a firm favourite in Italy and the rest of the world. There have even been a few adaptations of the original recipe, from the white negroni to the negroni sbagliato. And as a nice bonus, negroni calories are pretty low too, making for a deliciously guilt-free drink.

Negroni ingredients

Almost finished Negroni with it's ingredients, like Campari and the orange used as garnish

The negroni ingredients list is small, but mighty. And because there are only three ingredients (minus the garnish), it's important you get them right.

Here's what you'll need…

(Makes 1 cocktail)

  • A rocks glass
  • 1 scoop of cubed ice
  • 30ml gin
  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml sweet red vermouth
  • A piece of orange peel or orange slice, for garnish

Steps

Step 1

There are two ways of making a negroni. You can use the build and stir method, which involves adding each ingredient one by one and stirring them together at the end. Or there's the roll method, where you pour the ingredients back and forth between two shakers, which makes for a slightly more diluted drink. If you're going for the build and stir method, start by adding some ice cubes to a typical negroni glass – basically any short, sturdy tumbler. If you'd prefer to roll your ingredients, start by putting the ice into a shaker.

Step 2

Next up, add your three star ingredients – the gin, Campari and vermouth. For the build-and-stirrers, you'll be adding these straight into the glass over your ice cubes, then giving it all a stir. For the rollers among us, put them into a shaker with ice, then after a few seconds of ‘rolling’, strain your ingredients over cubed ice straight into your glass.

As we said, every ingredient counts in this negroni recipe. For the gin, we’d recommend Hendrick’s, the floral English classic brewed with 11 different botanicals. A negroni is only legit if it’s a Campari negroni – so Campari will always be the amaro of choice for this cocktail. And for the sweet vermouth, we’d suggest Martini.

Step 3

Last but not least, it's time for the garnish. Carefully slice off a small strip of orange peel, give it a twist and place it on top of your freshly made negroni cocktail. And enjoy!

Totally optional but tried-and-tested ways of enjoying your negroni: Number one: suit on, drink in one hand and a pipe in the other, while you lean against a grand mahogany bookshelf. Number two, sat in the window of a bar in Paris, clutching your cocktail as you stare wistfully into the rain. Or maybe even just during a cocktail training session on our International Bartender Course (a bit less dramatic, but probably a lot more fun).

On this four-week course, you’ll learn how to make a proper negroni – and 65+ other cocktails – from the experts at EBS. You’ll also get to meet a whole new group of pals while discovering a different city. Sound like something you want to get involved with? Check it out.