How to make the Bartenders Favorite Cocktail: The Negroni

Negroni on a bar counter with a toasted orange twist


The Negroni is a timeless classic that has become a favorite among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Known for its perfectly balanced blend of sweet, bitter, and strong flavors, this cocktail is simple to make and endlessly versatile. Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or a home bartender, mastering the Negroni is a must. In this blog, we'll dive into the rich history of the Negroni, explore recommended sweet vermouths, understand what makes Campari unique, and provide three top-notch gin recommendations.

The History of the Negroni

The Negroni dates back to the early 1900s when Count Camillo Negroni asked a bartender in Florence, Italy, to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. This simple modification resulted in a robust and flavorful cocktail that quickly gained popularity. The classic Negroni is traditionally made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, stirred with ice, and garnished with an orange peel. Today, the Negroni remains a staple in bars around the world, celebrated for its bold taste and elegant simplicity.

A Bartender's Perspective

Bartenders favor the Negroni for several reasons. Its simplicity allows for quick preparation, making it ideal for busy nights. The balanced flavor profile is universally appealing, and the cocktail's versatility invites creativity, allowing bartenders to experiment with different ingredients while maintaining the essence of the Negroni. Additionally, the use of gin, a spirit known for its wide range of botanical flavors, provides an opportunity to showcase the unique characteristics of various gins.

What Sweet Vermouth should i use for a Perfect Negroni?

Choosing the right sweet vermouth can significantly impact the flavor profile of your Negroni. Here are three highly recommended sweet vermouths that will elevate your cocktail:

1. Carpano Antica Formula

Known for its rich and complex flavor, Carpano Antica Formula adds depth to the Negroni with notes of vanilla, dried fruits, and spices. Its full-bodied texture complements the bitterness of Campari and the botanicals in gin perfectly. This vermouth is often considered the gold standard for Negroni enthusiasts, providing a luxurious and well-rounded taste.

2. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino

This sweet vermouth offers a balanced blend of sweetness and bitterness with hints of cocoa, citrus, and spices. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino enhances the Negroni's complexity while maintaining its classic flavor profile. Its slightly bitter finish pairs beautifully with Campari, creating a harmonious cocktail experience.

3. Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Rubino

A premium option from Martini & Rossi, the Riserva Speciale Rubino has a rich, aromatic profile with notes of red fruits, herbs, and spices. Its sophisticated taste adds an elegant touch to the Negroni, making it a favorite among bartenders. This vermouth is perfect for those who appreciate a more refined and nuanced cocktail.

What is Campari?

Campari is a vibrant red Italian aperitif known for its bitter and aromatic flavor. Made from an infusion of herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit in alcohol and water, Campari has been a key ingredient in cocktails since its creation in 1860. Its unique bitter taste and bright color make it an essential component of the Negroni. Campari not only balances the sweetness of the vermouth but also enhances the botanical notes of the gin, creating a harmonious and refreshing cocktail.

The Role of Campari in Cocktails

Campari's distinctive bitterness and rich red hue make it a standout ingredient in various cocktails beyond the Negroni. It plays a crucial role in other classics such as the Americano and the Boulevardier. The bitter profile of Campari is not only refreshing but also stimulates the appetite, making it a popular choice for aperitifs. Its versatility allows bartenders to use it creatively in both traditional and modern cocktail recipes.

Best 3 Gins to Use in a Negroni

The choice of gin can greatly influence the character of your Negroni. Here are three exceptional gins that are highly recommended:

1. Tanqueray No. TEN

This gin is known for its citrus-forward profile, with notes of grapefruit, lime, and orange. Its crisp and clean taste makes it an excellent choice for a Negroni, providing a refreshing contrast to the bitterness of Campari. Tanqueray No. TEN's emphasis on fresh citrus flavors enhances the overall brightness of the cocktail.

2. Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick's offers a unique twist with its infusion of rose and cucumber. This gin adds a subtle floral and fresh note to the Negroni, making it an interesting variation while maintaining the cocktail's classic appeal. The unconventional botanicals in Hendrick's Gin add complexity and intrigue, making it a favorite for those looking to experiment with their Negroni.

3. Confluence Distilling Detour Dry Gin

Confluence Distilling DETOUR Dry Gin is a refined gin with a balanced blend of botanicals. Known for its smooth and sophisticated flavor profile, it adds a unique touch to the Negroni. The intricate mix of botanicals in this Gin pairs beautifully with the bitter notes of Campari and the sweetness of the vermouth, creating a well-rounded and elegant cocktail.


The Negroni is more than just a cocktail; it's a celebration of balance and simplicity. With its rich history, the importance of quality ingredients like sweet vermouth, the unique bitterness of Campari, and the versatility of gin, the Negroni has earned its place as a bartender's favorite. Whether you stick with the traditional recipe or experiment with different vermouths and gins, mastering the Negroni is sure to enhance your cocktail repertoire. Cheers to enjoying one of the most beloved cocktails in the world!