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Dinner Party Classics: The Negroni

Lynnette’s riff on the classic Negroni swaps gin for aged rum, resulting in a toffee-flavored cocktail. Ryan shows you how to use the microwave to infuse spirits with fresh herbs and fruit.

World-class bartenders Lynnette and Ryan (aka Mr Lyan) teach you how to make perfect cocktails at home for any mood or occasion.


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:20.28] - So another category of my favorite stir drinks is the cocktails that are more equal parts aperitif style drinks. And the classic cocktail here that I think really embodies this is the Negroni. So the Negroni is usually equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. [00:00:35.89] So what's great about this drink is that you can innovate around it. There have been precursor cocktails to this like the Boulevardier, which uses bourbon instead of gin and the same sweet vermouth and Campari. [00:00:46.63] You can play around with the proportions. Even though equal parts is the recommended, if, like myself, you like a little bit more of the gin, you can just do maybe one half of the gin and then do 3/4 of the vermouth and the Campari. You can do lots of different things to this drink. And I like them because they are really food friendly. [00:01:02.33] These are the kind of drinks you can have right before you start dinner. They're great for entertaining. You can batch them and have them sit out. You can prebatch them, put them in your fridge, and have them on service. Always pretty easy. [00:01:13.15] And I actually innovated around this cocktail because I think the template is just so great for stretching your imagination. [00:01:27.48] I create a cocktail called the toffee Negroni where I just thought about playing this Mr. Potato Head. I'm going to take out, swap out this one ingredient and put in another. And I started with thinking about first the base spirit. I love gin. [00:01:39.27] But when I'm feeling a little more tropical or I want to think about food, I love rum in cocktails. So I wanted to change out and put the rum in there as well. And then I also swapped out the other two ingredients, because if you're going to change one thing, why not change everything else? [00:01:52.35] So I started with, instead of the sweet vermouth, I actually used sherry. I really like using something like an Amontillado sherry or an Olarosa sherry in place of vermouth, because it has a bit of a richness to it. [00:02:04.17] You will get a bit more of those kind of aromas that you want, the nuttiness, the almond kind of notes that come from the sherry. And then I went another step forward and I replaced the Campari with Aperol So Aperol is a little less bitter. And it's going to have a little more of this grapefruit aroma, which I think grapefruit goes extremely well with rum. [00:02:25.56] If you think about some of the fun cocktails you can make with rum, grapefruit goes well so switching into a spirit that would also enhance those flavors. And then topping it off with rum. So for this cocktail, I think the best kind of rum that works is something that is aged rum. [00:02:40.38] So you can find eight-year-old rums, different types of rums out there. But you want the richness and the aroma that comes from barrel aging the rum. And I made this one in equal parts. So you just have one part of each of those ...

About the Instructor

James Beard honoree Lynnette Marrero has been at the forefront of the NYC craft cocktail movement. Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is the founder of Dandelyan, named the world’s best bar. They will teach you the essentials of cocktail making, from developing your palate to building your home bar. Learn how to mix a perfectly balanced drink for every occasion and mood—and become your friends’ new favorite bartender.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I'm going to start making my own flavor syrups and looking at ingredients in new ways.

Use a more suttle hand in certain things such as muddling. I don't need a lot of specialty alchohols and liquers. More willing to experiment.

Rad! Insightful, easy to follow, and concise. Thanks!

Felt that the drinks were especially focused on whisky/brandy/rye. Would have like to have been presented with a greater variety of liquors or to have balanced the liquors that were presented so that there was more parity.



Help! I made a classic Negroni as well as the Nuked Negroni for myself and my parents. I really wanted to like this drink because I love gin as do my parents, but none of us enjoyed either variants of this drink. I'm not sure if I've chosen an incorrect ingredient (vermouth) or if I haven't acquired a taste for Campari, but there was a distinct bitterness and aftertaste that all three of us found unpleasant. The initial sip of each drink we all agreed was ok...but that aftertaste was, ugh. My ingredients: equal parts 1. Lustau Vermut Blanco 2. Campari 3. Bombay Sapphire Gin Did I choose an incorrect Vermouth? Should I have gone with a red Vermouth which could be sweeter? (fyi - we are Canadian/North American and am aware we have a sweeter palate than Europeans)

Pradyumna K.

So the Nuked Negroni sounds delicious. Unfortunately we don't get fresh blackberries or rosemary or grapefruit that easily here. Anyone can suggest what other fruits/ herbs that could work well to heat up and create an infusion?

Astra H.

Made this for a gathering with girlfriends, super complex flavours, everyone loved it, I used a dried sprig of rosemary as I didn't have fresh. It wasn't overpowering, maybe because the rosemary needed more time to bloom. Very well received. Love this whole series. Feel like I gained a lot of basics and knowledge to play around.

Birgit S.

I loved this lesson. The rubric and also the freedom presented by the Negroni is what makes playing around with our cocktails so much fun. This lesson made experimentation so much more approachable.

A fellow student

I love a Negroni. I love a Boulevardier too. I didn't know the Boulevardier was a precursor to the Negroni. I would have thought it was the other way round. Rum Negroni sounds great. I've been thinking about trying Mezcal. Switching out the vermouth for sherry is intriguing. One tweak I came across on the internet which I really like is adding a half measure of Chambord for a little extra raspberry/blackberry sweetness. I don't think I'll be putting it in the microwave, though.

A fellow student

Our Nuked Negroni went terribly wrong. Followed the directions but ours turned out extremely bitter and we had to dump the entire batch. Rosemary in the microwave must be very touchy, or perhaps our microwave was too strong. Either way, be careful with heating up the mix, keep your microwave clean, and don't let it go too long or too strong.

Peter M.

Good one! I love a rum Negroni as well. I'll try swapping the other ingredients as well. It'll be a good weekend for experimentation, thanks for the inspiration.