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Origins of the Negroni Cocktail
Legend has it that in the early 1900s, at a cafe in Florence, an Italian count named Camillo Negroni asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, for a boozed-up riff on an Americano—an even more easygoing concoction of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. Scarselli swapped the Americano’s customary lemon peel for an orange peel to differentiate the two, and the Negroni cocktail was born.
5 Variations on the Classic Negroni Cocktail
- Negroni sbagliato replaces the gin with sparkling white wine, or Prosecco.
- The Americano follows the same formula with Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda.
- The Boulevardier replaces gin with whiskey.
- The White Negroni features gin, sweet, floral Lillet blanc, and sharp, gentian-flavored Suze.
- An Aperol Negroni swaps Aperol for Campari to lean into the tannic sweetness of orange zest.
How to Make the Perfect Negroni
Experiment with different brands of gin and vermouth—more aromatic, less herbaceous, drier, sweeter, spicier—to find the flavor combinations that you enjoy the most. Every Negroni might have the same basic ingredients list, but the flavor profile is best crafted by the individual.
If you find that a traditional Negroni is too bitter for your taste, try adjusting your recipe to include 1 ounce of Campari and 2 ounces of sweet vermouth.
Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Negroni Recipe
Prep Time5 min
Total Time5 min
Wolfgang’s version of the classic aperitivo is a hybrid of all its best variations: with an extra festive added pour of Champagne. Wolfgang likes how the acidity and fizz of the Champagne refresh the drink. Angostura and lemon bitters balance the drink and produce a pleasant aroma, and—if you’re game—hand-carved ice cubes elevate this classic, simple drink.
- 3 oz dry gin
- 1 1/2 oz vermouth
- 1 1/2 oz Campari
- 3 oz Champagne
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes of orange bitters
- 2 lemon twists
- 2 lime twists
- Place 3 large ice cubes in a small pitcher or mixing glass. Pour in the gin, vermouth, and Campari, and gently stir.
- Then add in the champagne. Stir.
- Add dashes of Angostura and lemon bitters. Taste.
- Strain into glasses. Garnish the drink with the lemon and lime twists.
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