The cocktail diaries: The Negroni

Last updated 13:57 22/02/2013
PRE-DINNER DRINK: The Negroni is the perfect aperitif, stimulating both appetite and palate.

Related Links

The Cocktail Diaries: Berry Collins The Cocktail Diaries: Date night

Relevant offers


Craft brewers tapping into Petone's hospitality 'vibe' If you're asthmatic, wine may pose a risk All you need to know about sake Dubai's latest luxury: Wine with 24-carat gold but no alcohol Add bingeing believers to the list Panhead brews a ewe's milk beer Beervana lures more visitors from afar Dad's special brew wets more than baby's head Spritzy fruit-spangled succulent Sangria Beervana: Food of the unicorns

Bored with Old Fashioneds and ready for something new? Try a Negroni.

Never heard of them? Well, picture Florence Italy, circa 1920. Count Camilo Negroni is imbibing at his local bar, the Casoni, when he orders his favourite cocktail of the time the Americano (campari, sweet vermouth and soda) but asks for more kick. The local barkeep experiments by replacing the soda water with gin and garnishing with orange zest instead of lemon. The Negroni is born.

It's an incredibly simple, bitter, balanced, complex masterpiece that has become a true bartender favourite over recent years.

The Negroni is the perfect aperitif, stimulating both appetite and palate with its combination of bitter Campari with the strength and perfume of gin, both married neatly with the lushness of sweet vermouth.

Classic recipes call for equal parts, but bartenders tend to prefer dosing a little heavier with the gin these days.

Simply pour the liquors over ice, stir and garnish with an orange wedge, zest (flamed) and you're good to go. There's no need for strainers or fancy mixing glasses.

They can be served up in a Martini glass, but I find all the extra fuss unnecessary unless it's a bitterly cold night and you'd prefer the absence of ice.

The Americano as mentioned above is a fantastic lighter option for the afternoon drinker, or add a touch of effervescent zing by replacing the gin with prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) to create a Negroni Sbagliato.

Preference of gin certainly makes a difference, I prefer a bold full bodied gin such as Tanqueray Ten, or Westwinds Cutlass if I'm splashing out. Also, sweet vermouth varies hugely so find a brand you enjoy and keep it stored in the fridge to prevent oxidation. I'm a fan of Antico Rosso or Dubonnet.


25ml Campari

20ml Sweet vermouth

30ml Gin (must be quality)

Pour over ice, stir and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with flamed orange zest (this provides an amazing fresh aroma).

Negronis are also fantastic after dinner. The bitters help with digestion and the boozy kick will help to keep you awake. They are also very quick to rustle up, so you won't die of thirst while waiting like the guy next to you who just ordered four Old Fashioneds.

- Jason Clark is the bartender at Hummingbird Eatery and Bar.   

Ad Feedback

- Stuff


Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

How much wine do you drink?

One to two glasses a night.

Two to three glasses a night.

If the bottle's open, I may as well finish it, right?

I don't drink alcohol.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content