The Only Negroni Recipe You Need To Know
— 7 July 2023

The Only Negroni Recipe You Need To Know

— 7 July 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai
1 serving(s)
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins


  • 1 oz Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Red bitter liqueur (e.g. Campari)
  • 1 oz Vermouth Rosso


  1. Fill a large mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in all of your ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with orange peel.

RELATED: How To Make The Best Classic Martini (Hint: Stir, Don’t Shake)

Traditionally composed of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and red bitter liqueur; the Negroni recipe is quite possibly the most elegant arrow in any budding mixologist’s quiver. Maximum flavour. Minimum effort.

Seriously: whilst putting this beloved classic cocktail together, chances are that the most laborious thing you’ll end up doing is zesting an orange peel.

Apocryphally said to have been invented by and named after Count Camillo Negroni — an individual whose very existence has been disputed by cocktail historians — for us it’s simply enough to know that the Negroni cocktail, in its most typical incarnation, is a peerless way to get into tending bar at home.

(Editor’s Note: For the more precocious among you, the British mixology website Difford’s Guide has an extremely comprehensive feature on the Negroni’s origins.)

Negroni recipe

Frequently mischaracterised as a summer cocktail — an understandable line of thinking, given its appearance and ubiquity on the cobblestones of Milan — the truth is there are generally few situations where the Negroni would be an unwelcome libation.

The perfectly uniform triplet of ingredients in the Negonri recipe means you can ‘batch‘ a large volume and serve these at a later time, without so much as a cocktail jigger. That, in turn, gives you more breathing space to work on small quirks of presentation. Do you prefer bigger or smaller ice cubes? An orange wedge? Perhaps a couple of big green Sicilian olives for extra savoury oomph?

Whatever your preference, be sure to take a page out of FT drinks columnist Alice Lascelles’ book and “observe the holy trinity of earthy, bittersweet and strong/clean flavours”. Below, we’ve provided a couple more pointers that will have you stirring in no time.

Tips For Making The Ultimate Classic Negroni

#1 – Build Your Beverage Directly Into The Glass

As we alluded to earlier, it’s virtually impossible to overstate just how easy the process of assembling your garden-variety Negroni is. With only three ingredients to worry about (all of which come straight out of a bottle), there’s even less equipment than what you’ll require for the equivalent Martini/Margarita serve.

In essence? Even if you think you don’t own the requisite equipment (a jigger, mixing glass, or hawthorn strainer) you can simply make your Negroni into the vessel you’ll be serving it in. For the love of Christ, just don’t shake anything.

#2 – Don’t Be Afraid To Blow Things (A Little) Out Of Proportion

Since there’s not a whole lot that needs to be explained about the very short list of ingredients that go into a Negroni, one finer detail practised mixologists love to fixate on is the balance in the proportion between gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.

Unsurprisingly, reasonable minds differ on this subject about as much as the classic “how dry should my Martini be?” debate. And, despite the dogma of staunch traditionalists, it is in fact possible to mess around with the holy 1:1:1 ratio successfully.

Gary Regan, the legendary Anglo-American barman and author of The Joy of Mixology, famously preferred his Negronis on the aggressively dry side; hence his tendency toward “4 parts gin to one part each of sweet vermouth and Campari”.

Our advice? Try and focus on one aspect of the classic Negroni you most enjoy (is it the bitter Campari? the richness of vermouth? or the clean heat of spirit?), and adjust your recipe accordingly.

#3 – Dress It Up, Dress It Down

Negroni recipe
Pictured: The famed Bar Termini Negroni, which (unlike its more classical counterparts) is served straight-up in a chilled coupe glass sans orange twist.

Much like the other vernacular recipes which loom large in the kingdom of classic cocktails, the Negroni’s ubiquity has meant that, over the years, there has been an expansive assortment of variations.

Once you’re comfortable with the whole gin/Campari/vermouth rosso drill, it won’t take long for you to discover all of the other Negroni recipe possibilities (most of which are similarly easy to make).

In no particular order: these include the White Negroni; effervescent Negroni Sbagliato; whisky-based Boulevardier; and Americano – to our minds, a more grown-up take on the overrated Aperol spritzer.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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