negroni
Food and Drink

How to make the perfect negroni, according to an expert mixologist

Whether you’re looking for a go-to Friday night aperitif or a showstopping dinner party cocktail, the negroni is a classic drink to perfect at home. An expert mixologist explains how to make the iconic (and strong) tipple. 

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The negroni is a cocktail not designed for the faint-hearted. Made entirely with ingredients containing alcohol, the iconic tipple is a grown-up take on the Aperol Spritz, perfect for an end-of-the-night drink or paired with a delicious pasta dish.

Originating in northern Italy, the negroni gained its name in the 1950s. It’s a spin-off of two lesser-known aperitifs: the Milano-Torino and the Americano, both of which are made up of similar ingredients. 

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However, the negroni was the first cocktail to combine gin, campari and vermouth in equal parts, a combination to swear by.

Here, Richard Ryan, who works with bars all around the world to develop cocktails as the CEO of Drinksology, provides some expert insight on how to make a negroni to impress at home. 

How to make the perfect classic negroni

negroni
Use a dry gin for a classic negroni.

What you will need

  • 25ml dry gin (Richard recommends Jawbox Gin)
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml Sweet Rosso Vermouth

Method

  1. Pour the gin, Campari and vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. 
  2. Stir until the outside of the glass feels cold.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass, add ice and garnish with an orange twist.

Two twists on the negroni

Pompelmo negroni

negroni
Try this fruity take on the negroni.

What you will need:

  • 25ml grapefruit gin (Richard recommends Ginato Pompelmo)
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml Sweet Rosso Vermouth

Method:

  1. Pour the Ginato gin, Campari and vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass, add ice and garnish with a grapefruit slice.

White negroni

white negroni
The white negroni is perfect for summer.

What you will need:

  • 40ml Ginato Pinot Grigio gin
  • 20ml Suze
  • 20ml Bianco Vermouth

Method

  1. Pour the Ginato gin, Suze and vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold
  2. Strain into a rocks glass, add ice and garnish with a lemon slice.

Richard’s expert tips for making negronis at home

Don’t get caught up on measurements

The benefit of making a negroni at home is that you don’t need to meticulously measure each part of the drink. “As long as you use gin, Campari and vermouth in equal parts, it should taste pretty good,” Richard says. 

Always add ice

“Sometimes people think using ice will make their drink watery but this really isn’t the case,” Richard says. As long as you fill your glass with ice before making the cocktail, it should keep it cool and maintain the taste. “A negroni is designed to be served ice cool so this is an important part of the drink.”

Use a classic dry gin

There are many variations of gin, but for a classic negroni, it’s best to use a traditional dry gin. Richard explains that sweet gins will clash with the grapefruit and rhubarb notes in the Campari. 

You can find more expert-led guides and tutorials on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page (@TheCuriosityAcademy). 

  • Richard Ryan, co-founder and head of liquid development at Drinksology

    Richard Ryan
    Richard works with some of the world's highest achieving bars to develop cocktails.

    Richard is CEO of Drinksology where he develops spirit brands and works with bars all around the world to develop cocktails.

Images: Drinksology