Here Are 3 Impressive Riffs On The Negroni You Can Easily Make At Home
— Updated on 17 October 2022

Here Are 3 Impressive Riffs On The Negroni You Can Easily Make At Home

— Updated on 17 October 2022
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

Few cocktails enjoy the sort of incessant, unreserved adulation that the Negroni seems all but incapable of shedding. Case in point: it’s that time of year (yet again) when Campari and Imbibe run the annual Negroni Week festival – as if inveterate drinkers around the globe needed a formal invitation to fang into another round of cocktail culture’s booziest, bitterest aperitivo (either out and about or at home).

In Sydney alone, dozens of venues are getting in on the action (until Sunday, 18 September) with enticing promotional pricing, limited-time-only recipes or some combination of the two. Still, for those who enjoy being comfortable – as they slowly descend into a gin, Campari and sweet vermouth-addled fugue state – we’ve thrown together a trio of our favourite riffs on the classic three-part cocktail.

Armed with these at-home recipes, you certainly won’t have to wait until September every year to experience the deceptive breadth of flavour that the Negroni has to offer.

The Coffee Riff

Negroni at home

RELATED: Where To Celebrate Negroni Week in Sydney & Melbourne

It’s an open secret among mixologists and fussy drinkers that coffee is a pretty saucy bedfellow for the flavour profile of your run-of-the-mill Negroni. In principal not dissimilar to the act of pairing cold brew with a zesty slice of orange, there are a frankly biblical number of recipes online that add a caffeinated element to the standard gin/vermouth/Campari palaver.

For my money, Australia’s own Mr. Black does a killer formulation: its namesake cold brew liqueur is packed with clean, medium-bodied flavours of chocolate and stone fruit, sans any of the sappy textural components you’d usually get if you were to use a freshly pulled espresso coffee. They’re dead-easy to make — as you can see in the YouTube instruction below:

  • Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur, 50ml
  • Gin, 50ml
  • Campari, 35ml
  • Sweet vermouth, 25ml

Method: Combine ingredients, stir over ice for 30 seconds. Garnish with an orange peel and serve.


The Plum Riff

Negroni Week

A recipe from the team over at East Pole in Melbourne (releasing just in time for Negroni Week) this plum-themed variation is meant to hero the distillery’s new Kakadu spirit. Made with botanicals of coconut, mango and the eponymous Kakadu plum, it’s a great way to work a few left-field flavours of the tropics into what’s otherwise a very unctuous, spirit-forward drinking experience. For a lovely silken mouthfeel, I thoroughly recommend finishing with a dash of plum wine — readily available at most Asian supermarkets.

  • East Pole Kakadu plum gin, 30ml
  • Campari, 30ml
  • Sweet vermouth, 30ml
  • Umeshu, 15ml (optional)

Method: Combine ingredients, stir over ice for 30 seconds. Garnish with an orange peel and serve.


The White Riff

Negroni Week
Credit: Difford’s Guide Australia

To all intents and purposes, the Negroni of choice for that one tedious bloke who’d rather be drinking a crisp savvy b, the White Negroni (so-called for its lack of carmine hue) is a relatively recent invention. Created by the British bartender Wayne Collins back in 2001, it’s a noticeably drier, more refreshing way to enjoy gin. Gentian liqueur and Lillet — that thing Bond puts in his Martini — inhabit the starring roles usually played by Campari and sweet vermouth respectively; resulting in a Negroni that’s a touch herbaceous, yet without the full-on syrupy attack of its traditional Italian predecessor. A superb cocktail to imbibe with a touch of grapefruit.

  • Four Pillars Rare dry gin, 30ml
  • Gentian liqueur (e.g. Suze), 30ml
  • Lillet Blanc, 30ml

Method: Combine all ingredients, stir over ice for 30 seconds. Garnish with a twist of grapefruit zest and serve.

Randy Lai
WORDS by
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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