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The love it or hate it bitterly herbaceous Italian cocktail

Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1


  • 30 ml Gin Try not to use your special craft gin unless it is particularly robust. It will be bullied out by the Campari. It must be a good quality gin though.
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml Sweet Red Vermouth


  1. Add all 3 ingredients to an old-fashioned glass packed with ice.

  2. Stir. This is one of those cocktails that should not be shaken. The tiny shards of ice that inevitably would get mixed into the cocktail will alter the mouthfeel of the finished drink.

  3. Add a twist of orange peel. Never to do anything by halves I like to add a whole blood orange slice to mine to boost the orange flavour.

Recipe Notes


This punchy iconic Italian cocktail with its uncompromising herbal bitterness is currently enjoying something of a revival.


The Negroni is an acquired taste. If you are not used to bitter aperitifs it may come as something of a shock. Campari is the culprit. The gin and vermouth are there to soften the blow. The Negroni is a drink you will love or loathe and sometimes at the same time in equal measure.


Like a lot of cocktails, its origin is hazy. It differs from the Americano only by the substitution of gin for soda water. And as such it is purported to have come about when Count Camillo Negroni asked bartender Fosco Scarselli to pep up his favourite aperitif at the Caffè Casoni in Florence Italy in 1919.


An alternative version of its history is that another Count de Negroni invented the drink in Senegal in 1857.


But whatever the origin the Negroni family didn't hang about and capitalised on its popularity by founding the Negroni Distillery in Treviso, where they made ready-made versions of the cocktail.


Now at nearly 100 years old, this venerable cocktail is listed as one of The Unforgettables on the list of the International Bartenders Association official cocktails.


And it truly is an unforgettable gin cocktail. Once tasted, never forgotten. You will learn to love its bitterness.


Follow this recipe for a brilliantly vermillion cocktail.


Tip: if you really find this too bitter try adding a splash of lemonade. It will transform the Negroni ~ just don't tell anyone...








  • The Gin Devil

    I love everything about a Negroni, the look, the smell and, of course, the taste. Even a bad one tastes pretty good.

    Rather than the lemonade you could try just having 1/2 shot Campari for a less bitter drink, although you’ll soon want to progress to the full, bitter, sensation in my experience.

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