Negroni cover

Four twists on the Negroni

The Negroni fad has continued apace in London this year. In no small part thanks to the likes of Polpo, Forza Win and Frank’s, Aperol and Campari are being consumed with an enthusiasm not seen for years. But while a light, sweet Aperol spritz is always going to taste best on a sun-baked rooftop in August, a classic Negroni is just as appealing once the autumn gloom has set in. Exact recipes vary, but the ingredients remain the same: Campari, sweet vermouth and gin, usually in nearly equal measures.

The cocktail was supposedly invented in Florence in 1919, where a Count by the name of Camillo Negroni is said to have asked for the soda in his Americano – a drink invented by Campari founder, Gaspare Campari, in 1860 – to be replaced with gin. At the same time, across the pond, Campari was classified as medicinal and one of the few drinks to escape prohibition.

Fast-forward to today, and we’re all getting a little bored. The Negroni’s become ubiquitous, with sickly, sticky attempts churned out to catch the tail end of the trend. Even Jay Rayner has taken to the pages of the Guardian to express his dismay at the prevalence of a drink he feels is “like punishment for a crime not yet committed”.

I still love the bitterness of this crimson cocktail, but it’s time to shake things up a bit. Here are four variants on the classic:

Negroni 2 Negroni 1

The sloe gin Negroni

This recipe comes courtesy of Sipsmith, who included it in a booklet handed out at a pop-up back in July. It’s sweeter, but still sufficiently strong.

1 part sloe gin
1 part gin
1 (small) part Campari
A dash of Angostura bitters
Ice
Twist of lemon peel

The Negroni sbagliato

The “wrong” Negroni is made with almost equal parts of Campari, sweet vermouth and prosecco. Also served over ice, it tastes close to the original but has less of a kick.

1 part Campari
1 part sweet vermouth
1.5 parts prosecco
Ice
Orange slice

The Aperol Negroni

Using Campari’s daughter brand, Aperol, creates an easy-drinking and (unsurprisingly) rather orangey alternative.

1 part Aperol
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part gin
Ice
Orange slice

The Americano

The Negroni’s forerunner is still an excellent drink in it’s own right, especially for those who like their booze, well, a little less boozy.

1 part Campari
1 part sweet vermouth
1.5 parts soda
Ice
Twist of orange peel

Negroni 2

Negroni 4

negroni 9

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One thought on “Four twists on the Negroni

  1. Pingback: A gin-lover’s tour of London « A Travelling Epicure

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