A classic negroni is a cocktail made with gin, sweet red vermouth, and Campari that has a vibrant red hue that’s welcome at parties throughout the year.
This neo-negroni plays with the proportions of the classic negroni to create a slightly stiffer concoction. Whereas tradition dictates equal parts gin, sweet red vermouth, and Campari, this rendition increases the gin and decreases the sweet stuff.–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
- 2 ounces London dry gin (such as Plymouth, Beefeater, or Tanqueray)
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- 3/4 ounce sweet (red) vermouth (such as Dolin Rouge or Carpano Antica)
- 6 dashes grapefruit bitters
- 1 orange twist for garnish
- Pour the gin, Campari, sweet (red) vermouth, and grapefruit bitters over ice into a chilled mixing glass.
- Stir and strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with the orange twist.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I am a big fan of a classic Negroni—dry gin mixed with sweet vermouth and the classic blood orange flavor of Campari. I normally don’t use a recipe for this drink and make it with equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. I liked the use of 2 ounces of gin in comparison to the 3/4 ounce each of Campari and vermouth—this ratio gave the drink more of a “martini” quality. I did not have grapefruit bitters so used Angostura bitters instead. The appeal of this specific Negroni was its presentation in a long-stemmed martini glass, which I think looked super elegant. I normally make mine in a regular lowball glass, but this presentation really elevated the drink and let you see its gorgeous color even better! This is a great cocktail for the holiday season, but really any time of year will do! Cin Cin.
A terrific variation on a classic, refreshing cocktail. I particularly like that the direction of these changes resulted in a less sweet yet still complex cocktail. The grapefruit bitters might take a little searching, but the clean note they add is just unique enough to make it discernibly different from using a close substitute, Angostura’s now widely available orange bitters. This required multiple taste- ests, but I was able to find a willing co-conspirator. For the grapefruit bitters, we used Fee Brothers, which is reasonably priced ($7), although a good wine and spirits shop might offer up all sorts of nice artisan versions, and if you’re ambitious, you can make your own with some lead time. We paired it with Tanqueray, Carpano Antica, and Campari and used a strip of zest from a navel orange. The resulting drink is stunningly drinkable (make that slightly dangerously so), though if I was following with other drinks or wine, I might consider offering mini versions of this for a social gathering. The recipe is easily scalable and lends itself to small batches. This version is special enough that it will send your guests home admiring your cocktail skills, yet the hardest part was finding the grapefruit bitters! (Although I didn’t mind adding this to our “bitters library” because I think these elements can add such nice layers to your drinks.) Next time, I plan to vary the gin and use Russell Henry or Hendrick’s. For 2 people, a double recipe easily fits in a standard drink mixer/cocktail shaker.
This version of a classic negroni ups the gin (not bitter) and reduces the Campari (very bitter but also sweet) and vermouth (sweet). It adds just a bit of grapefruit bitters to brighten the whole thing up. I used Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters. So this version of the negroni results in the gin shining through more because of the reduced Campari and vermouth and in a little less overall sweetness and bitterness. The grapefruit bitters really complement the gin and liven things up. It’s a great variation on a negroni, and to my palate, better than the original.
Originally published December 31, 2015