Negroni recipe: it's aperitivo time with this classic cocktail

Our negroni recipe will whisk you to the shores of Lake Garda as we show you how to make this popular apéritif at home

Negroni recipe using Two Birds Gin
(Image credit: Two Birds Spirits)

This negroni recipe will be right up your street if you are a fan of popular apéritifs like Aperol spritz, or a gin lover looking for something new. The strong, dry drink is believed to have been invented for Count Camillo Negroni in Florence in 1919, who wanted more punch to his favourite cocktail, the Americano – a mix of vermouth and Campari. The bartender added gin and the Negroni was born.

It is now one of many drinks enjoyed in Italian cities as an aperitivo – a pre-dinner drink to stimulate the appetite – usually served with a few delectable nibbles. We certainly have no trouble stimulating our appetites here at Real Homes, but we still love this dry cocktail with hints of bitter citrus and sweet, herbal vermouth. It is a sophisticated tipple to serve before a summer barbecue or alfresco dinner and quite refreshing when you include plenty of ice.

Read on to learn how to make a negroni (we have included some twists on the classic too), then check out our other cocktail recipes for more cocktail bar favourites in your own home.

How to make a negroni

  • Thanks to Two Birds for sharing this negroni recipe with us. They make traditional, British gin that is perfect for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 25ml gin
  • 25ml sweet vermouth (such as Martini Rosso)
  • 25ml Campari
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange/blood orange peel 

Method:

1. Pour the spirits into a cocktail shaker.

2. Stir (do not shake!) to combine then strain into a tumbler over ice

3. Garnish with a twist of blood orange peel. 

How to make an orange peel twist: To make an orange peel twist use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove a long section of peel, taking care not to get too much pith on your piece of peel. You then twist the peel over the glass before dropping in to release the citrus oils, adding fragrance and bitterness to the drink. See – garnish does have a function.

Best negroni recipes: add a twist to the classic

We love a negroni, but if it is a bit dry for your tastes, you might want to give one of these variations a go.

Negroni sbagliato

This was apparently invented accidentally by a busy bartender who used sparkling wine instead of gin – hence the sbagliato or 'mistake' in the name. It is perfect for those who don't like gin or just love sparkling wine.

Swap the gin for Prosecco (or your sparkling wine of choice), but add it to the glass after first pouring in the mixed vermouth and Campari.

Negroni spritz

Similar to the Aperol spritz, this could prove to be just as popular if only more people had tried it. It varies from the negroni sbagliato as it still includes the gin. To make a negroni spritz, follow the negroni recipe above, then pour into a champagne flute or gin balloon over ice. Top up with sparkling wine. Some people add a dash of soda water or even tonic to complement the gin, but take a sip before diluting or adding extra flavours.

Flavoured gin negroni

If you have a well-stocked gin collection including many types and flavours, you might be wondering if you have to use plain dry gin. The answer is no, but think carefully about the flavour pairings as the Campari has high citrus notes and the vermouth is very herbal. We would recommend choosing fruits that work well with oranges, so perhaps using a blood orange gin to really oomph that flavour, or going for common citrus buddies like raspberries, cranberries and even elderflower.

Marmalade Negroni Sour

Slingsby Gin Marmalade Negroni sour

(Image credit: Slingsby Gin)

As well as flavoured gin, you can add citrus fruit juice for a cross between a gin sour and a Negroni. Slingsby Gin shared their recipe for a Marmalade Negroni Sour with us, using their Marmalade Gin and some grapefruit juice.

Ingredients:

  • 25ml Slingsby Marmalade Gin
  • 25ml Sweet Red Vermouth
  • 25ml Campari
  • 20ml Grapefruit Juice
  • 5ml Sugar Syrup

Method:

1. Stir down the ingredients in a short glass with ice. 

2. Garnish with orange peel twist.

More for cocktail lovers: