Let’s get right to business: Equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Make it even better with orange bitters and an orange peel.
In my opinion, the king of all summer drinks is the Negroni, which is said to have been born in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender at Caffe Casoni to replace the club soda in an Americano with gin. The result is boozy, bitter, and wonderful.
The simple equal-parts recipe of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth is a great base for young cocktail artisans to experiment with. Here are some ideas:
- Add a few couple of dashes of orange bitters (my preferred recipe)
- Try different gins
- Swap Aperol for Campari
- Swap Cappelletti for Campari
- Replace gin with bourbon for a Boulevardier (this my go-to drink in the winter when I’m not drinking whiskey neat)
- Try different sweet vermouths. Carpano Antica and Punt e Mes are particularly good.
- Swap rum for gin and East India sherry for vermouth for an East India Negroni
- Swap Campari for Lillet Blanc and you have a French Negroni.
- Swap the gin for apple brandy and you have a Mela d’Alba.
Negronis are also wonderful to age. Give it a try.