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Cotswold Cocktail School - Negroni Cocktail Recipe

ABV 24% / 2.5 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Gin

A Brief History of the Negroni

The Negroni's history is shrouded in a delightful tale of an Italian count named Camillo Negroni. In the early 20th century, Count Negroni requested his Americano cocktail (made with Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda) to be fortified with gin for an extra kick. The Negroni was born, quickly capturing the hearts of Italians and later the world. Today, it's celebrated as a classic cocktail with a timeless appeal.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Negroni is a masterpiece of balance and depth.

  • Bitterness: Campari, a vibrant red Italian bitter liqueur, takes centre stage, providing the cocktail with a bold, bitter, and slightly herbal character.
  • Sweetness: Sweet vermouth adds a layer of richness and sweetness, harmonising with the bitterness of Campari.
  • Citrus Zest: A twist of orange peel or a slice of orange garnish contributes a burst of citrus aroma and flavour, balancing the bitterness with a touch of brightness.
  • Gin: The base spirit, gin, adds botanical complexity and a subtle juniper note that weaves through the cocktail.

The result is a cocktail that's simultaneously bold and refined—a complex symphony of flavours that evokes the romance of Italy.

Food Pairings

To enhance your Negroni experience, consider these delectable food pairings:

  • Italian Antipasti: Savour the cocktail with a platter of Italian antipasti, including olives, cured meats, cheeses, and marinated vegetables.
  • Bruschetta: The classic Italian appetiser of toasted bread topped with ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil pairs beautifully with the Negroni.
  • Seafood: Fresh seafood dishes like grilled shrimp, calamari, or oysters offer a delightful contrast to the cocktail's bitterness.
  • Cheese and Charcuterie: A selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie complements the Negroni's complex flavours.

Bar Equipment

  • Mixing glass
  • Mixing spoon
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Rocks glass
  • Jigger


  • 30ml London dry gin
  • 30ml Campari
  • 30ml sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: orange twist


  • Place ice into mixing glass and pour in gin, vermouth and Campari. Gently stir of 20-30 seconds
  • Double strain into a chilled rocks glass with a large ice cube
  • Garnish with the orange twist*

*Using a channel knife or peeler take a lemon strip for the widest part of the lemon roughly 8cm long. Diagonally cut the ends of the strip with a knife. Wrap and twist around a straw. Place the twist onto the glass rim or directly into the drink.

What's the best Gin for a Negroni cocktail? 

The best gin for a Negroni cocktail is typically a high-quality London dry gin. Here's why London dry gin is the preferred choice for this classic cocktail:

  • Juniper-Forward Flavour: London dry gins are known for their strong juniper flavour, which is a defining characteristic of the Negroni. Juniper provides the cocktail with its signature piney and resinous notes.
  • Balanced Profile: London dry gins typically have a well-balanced flavour profile, with a combination of botanicals and citrus notes. This balance complements the bitterness of Campari and the sweetness of sweet vermouth in the Negroni.
  • Versatility: London dry gin is versatile and pairs well with the other ingredients in the Negroni, creating a harmonious and classic flavour combination.
  • Herbal Complexity: London dry gins often include a variety of botanicals, such as coriander, angelica root, and citrus peel, which add herbal complexity to the cocktail.

Popular brands of London dry gin that are frequently recommended for making Negroni cocktails include Tanqueray, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Gordon's. These gins offer a well-balanced juniper-forward profile that pairs beautifully with the bitterness of Campari and the sweetness of sweet vermouth.

While London dry gin is the traditional and widely accepted choice for a Negroni, some enthusiasts also experiment with other types of gin, such as barrel-aged gins or botanical-forward gins, to create variations of the cocktail. If you enjoy exploring different flavour profiles, you may find these variations intriguing. However, if you're looking for a classic Negroni, London dry gin is the way to go.

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