Iconic, Aperitif, and Very Italian
The Negroni is a classic cocktail that enjoys an almost cult-like status amongst its fiercest loyalists; to the extent that some have exalted this drink with claims that it is the best cocktail in the world! The Negroni even has its own dedicated swag and week of celebration. So it must be something special, right?
While we do agree that this seemingly benign concoction of equal parts gin, Italian bitter liqueur, and sweet vermouth is undeniably delicious, slightly bitter, and perfect for sipping on sunny bistro patios, we stop short of claiming that it's the best. The simple fact is that some people really don't like anything bitter in their cocktail. For those who do enjoy the complexity that comes with a bitter liqueur like Campari or Aperol, the Negroni is hard to beat.
So what makes it so great? It's balanced, it's refreshing, and it's super easy to build. Equal parts of three different ingredients makes creating a delicious Negroni almost foolproof. As with all simple cocktails, the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to start with high quality ingredients. After some rigorous testing and comparison of many different variations, we can confidently say that this recipe makes a damn fine Negroni.
Here's how to make a great Negroni.
1 ounce Big Bottom Navy Strength Gin
1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
Large orange peel
This drink can be built directly in your rocks glass. No fancy preparation needed. To build, place a large ice cube in your rocks glass and add gin, Aperol, and vermouth. Stir with a bar spoon for 15-20 seconds. Squeeze your orange peel over the drink to express the orange oils into your cocktail. You can then toss the orange peel or stick it right into the cocktail.
Aperol is a delightful substitute for the more traditional (and slightly more bitter) Campari. Blended with our higher proof Navy Strength Gin, the subtle bitter and grapefruit qualities of Aperol really shine through without being overpowering. The first sip is floral and botanical with a nice spice from the vermouth in the middle before mellowing beautifully to a mild bitter citrus zest on the finish. It's balanced, bold, and incredibly refreshing.