If there were one drink that symbolized Italian aperitivo culture, it would be the Classic Negroni. This 3 ingredient cocktail combines gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, is garnished with an orange peel, and couldn’t be easier to make.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published on July 6, 2018. Updated with new images and expanded info.
There are few cocktails as iconic as the Negroni.
This simple Italian aperitivo is usually served at the end of the workday with some light snacks and as a precursor to dinner.
While there are variations of the Negroni, such as the Tegroni (tequila replaces the gin), the Grapefruit Negroni, and the Americano Cocktail (sparkling water replaces the gin), there is nothing quite like the classic Negroni.
The equal harmonization of the Campari, sweet red vermouth, and gin is delightful, a little bitter, and its ruby red color is a sight to behold.
All ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.
- Campari. This bitter Italian liqueur hails from Milan and includes notes of orange and herbs. It is an essential component of a classic Negroni.
- Gin. Since the Negroni includes just 3 ingredients, I recommend using a top-quality gin. Hendrick’s is our go-to, but other great brands include The Botanist, Plymouth, and Ford’s.
- Sweet Vermouth. Similar to the gin, I also recommend using a better-quality sweet vermouth. Cinzano Rosso is my go-to for Negronis.
- Orange. You can use an orange slice to garnish your Negroni, but my preferred garnish is an orange peel. Give the peel a gentle twist to release its oil before adding it to your glass.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
How to make it
- Using a vegetable peeler, slice a 1-inch wide by 4-inch long peel of orange. If desired, use a knife to neaten the edges.
- Fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice and add 1 ounce of Campari, 1 ounce of gin, and 1 ounce of sweet red vermouth.
- Using a cocktail spoon, stir the ingredients to combine.
- Fill a rocks glass with ice, then strain and pour the Negroni over the fresh ice.
- Gently twist the orange peel to release its oil then place it in the drink as a garnish. Serve immediately and enjoy!
More Italian cocktails
Here are a few of our favorite cocktails that are perfect aperitivi!
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- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Gin
- 1 oz Sweet red vermouth
- 1 peel Orange
- 1 cup ice
- To a cocktail mixing glass add ice and the Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
- Use a bar spoon to stir ingredients until combined.
- Strain and pour into an ice filled rocks glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel, or orange slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- If you prefer to not use a cocktail mixing glass, you can simply add the ingredients to your rocks glass, stir, and serve.
- If you prefer a stronger drink, eliminate the ice from the rocks glass and serve “up”.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This recipe was originally published on July 6, 2018. It was completely updated on October 6, 2023.