Classic Negroni

A classic Italian cocktail: the negroni

Welcome to parte due of Made in Rome’s Campari series! Dust off your cocktail shaker, break out that electric red bottle, and be sure you have ice. You don’t need much more for today’s drink, the classic negroni, one of Italy’s oldest and best.

A classic negroni is gin, vermouth, and Campari. (You see thousands of variations today, with bartenders mixing in rosé and mezcal, chocolate and pumpkin, smoke… anything they can get their busy hands and creative minds on.)

The ingredients for a negroni cocktail: campari, gin, and vermouth

A classic negroni is gin, vermouth, and Campari–but also something deeper. If you’re a negroni drinker, wind back the clock to your first taste. What did you think? Here’s what I thought: this nice bitter drink with its sweet citrus edge and fancy glass tastes how I imagined, when I was young, cocktails would one day taste. This was what came out of unknown bottles from unknown places. This was what people in suits and black dresses sipped to jazz. This!–even now–is the impression the negroni creates: a vague sophistication that’s at the wild heart of what a cocktail is.

A classic negroni cocktail with an orange twist

Allie and I served negronis at our wedding. During cocktail hour, we did “his” and “hers” drinks passed around in addition to what was available at the bar. Allie did a nice mulled cider. (It was late December!) I served a variation on the negroni–a negroni sbagliato, which softens the drink’s punch by swapping in Prosecco for gin.

You can try that if you want. I’m a sucker for classics. Here’s how you make the original hard-hitting, Campari-spiked, century-old negroni.   -Chris

What you need:

2 shots gin

1 shot vermouth

1 shot Campari

Orange twists (optional)

What to do: Pour everything (but twists) into a shaker with ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Pour into glasses with or without fresh ice. Add twists. Makes 2 drinks.

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