The negroni – cocktail of the gods

Like a properly-fitted suit, a well-made negroni should grab you by the shoulders, make you stand up straight and give you a general feeling of importance. Nothing hits the spot quite like it but be warned they are powerful and dangerously drinkable. Luckily, unlike most cocktails, with the negroni there is no rush; they have a very wide timescale of deliciousness being good strong but also excellent diluted as the ice melts. Diluted or not, the flavour is so powerful that you won’t be able to taste much afterwards so don’t open the good burgundy. The best thing after a negroni is another negroni but then you must move onto food or trouble will ensue. Serve the food with a neutralish Italian white wine and plenty of water.


1 shot of red vermouth – Martini Rosso is fine. Thankfully the people at this blog have tasted all the most common brands so that I didn’t have to. Thank heavens for the internet

1 shot of Campari

1 shot of gin – I’m currently using Boodles gin which seems to work well. Don’t go for anything too fancy as you won’t be able to taste its complexities through the Campari and vermouth. The gin brings alcohol and juniper and not much else.

1 slice of orange – you can do that burning thing if you like but I’m happy just with a bit of orange.



Fill a glass full of ice cubes. I use a whisky tumbler that used to belong to my grandmother but anything similar will do.

Add a shot of each of the components.

Add the orange slice

Stir thoroughly

Drink slowly

Feel that medicinal goodness fill your body.

About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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14 Responses to The negroni – cocktail of the gods

  1. William James says:

    I had one of these for the first time at the OXO tower brasserie the other night. A true cocktail = no mixer. Potent stuff.

  2. alison finch says:

    I remember you drinking a negroni when we met for cocktails at the Soho Hotel about three summers ago. I was very impressed! I think I had a martini (probably, it’s my default cocktail). I must try this though. And what is that burning thing they do with the orange? Why? I was in Manchester the other day and had a Cosmo and they did that burning thing with the orange but forgot to put any lime juice in….IDIOTS! All mouth and no trousers, if you ask me.

    • Henry says:

      It releases the oil from the orange into the drink. Delicious when done right but if not you just get a burnt dry bit of orange and much of the time just an excuse for showing off by vain barmen. I love a martini but I drink them too quickly.

  3. winstonsdad says:

    I ll have to try this one Henry ,I ll write it down and get local cocktail bar to make it next time I m in ,all the best stu

  4. worm says:

    yum!!! and perfect for this rubbishy autumnal weather we’ve been having! Campari has been seriously ‘in’ on the continent for the last few summers, it’s only a matter of time before a major campari craze sweeps the UK once more…

  5. Chaz Folkes says:

    I’ve always associated Campari with sun loungers. This sounds much more sophisticated and a lot more fun than sitting in the heat getting radiation burns. I shall take note of your warning about quantity though…

  6. joe says:

    Nice. Do you have experience of Aperol? It’s a lovely drop.

  7. Henry says:

    I had Aperol for the first time this summer. It’s powerful stuff. Do you think it would work in a negroni in place of campari?

    • joe says:

      I find it easier going than campari. I have not attempted a negroni before (shame on me) but would venture it is suitable.

      In Italy I have had Aperol and OJ, which is v refreshing.

  8. Philippa Chandler says:

    Negronis taste like earwax to me. Having closely observed Negroni drinkers for many years, I agree that two Negronis should be followed by dinner or there’s hell to pay.

  9. Pingback: The negroni ? cocktail of the gods « rowensalemy

  10. Henry says:

    Here’s Tony Bourdain, author, cook and TV presenter, on the pleasures of a good Negroni: “i’m not a gin drinker. I don’t like sweet vermouth, I don’t like Campari, but together they form a sinister yet lovely and inspired hell broth. Like a marriage, it’s a true ever-lasting love. This is not a cheap date, this is not a one night stand.” Wise words.

  11. Pingback: How I made the worst negroni ever | Henry's World of Booze

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