How to Make the Classic Negroni Recipe

The classic Negroni recipe calls for only three ingredients and an easy orange garnish.

The Negroni. A classic Italian cocktail that I hold near and dear to my heart. It truly couldn’t be simpler to make, which makes this Negroni recipe is a great go-to cocktail for just about any occasion.

Whether you’re entertaining indoors or enjoying an evening on the patio, the Negroni is a classic sipper that requires very few ingredients, is easy to whip up and will impress with its bold and flavorful ingredients.

Find more vintage drinks that deserve a comeback.

What’s in a Negroni?

This Negroni recipe is composed of just three main ingredients and one garnish, which some would argue is essential.

To make this Negroni recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel, for garnish

The best part of a Negroni is that it’s made with equal parts of each ingredient. All you have to do is remember which ingredients you need!

Not sure what else you should have on hand for cocktails at home? See our list of home bar essentials.

What Gin Is Best for a Negroni?

This is where preference comes into play. And since this is the only aspect of the Negroni that can be personalized, be sure to choose a gin that you enjoy drinking in the first place.

If you aren’t sure what you like when it comes to gin, seek out a London dry such as Tanqueray or Beefeater. Both are herbal and juniper-forward.

(Later, put that bottle to good use and master other classic gin cocktails such as the refreshing Tom Collins, old-school martini and the simple gimlet.)

Can I Use Dry Vermouth?

You can definitely use dry vermouth if you prefer the flavor or have it on hand. But sweet vermouth is classic, and in my opinion, needed to balance out the bitterness of the Campari and dry, herbal flavor of the gin. Look for sweet red vermouth from Martini Rossi.

How to Make a Negroni

Step 1: Mix

Combine the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass with ice.

Step 2: Stir

Stir the cocktail until it’s well chilled. You may be tempted to reach for the cocktail shaker, but there’s no need to. Since each of the three ingredients contains alcohol, they mix together fairly seamlessly without needing a whole lot of agitation.

Instead, run a bar spoon (like these) around the edge of the glass to swirl the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth together until they’re thoroughly chilled. Mixing the drink together this way is both easier on the bartender and avoids the potential for watering down the cocktail.

Step 3: Strain

Strain Negroni into a rocks glass.

Step 4: Garnish

You can use a paring knife to gently cut a thin slice of orange peel, but home bartenders may want a channel knife like this one to create the perfect garnish. Garnish with a strip of orange peel.

Sip your Negroni while you nibble from a bold cheese and charcuterie board. (Here’s how to build one.)

Now that you’ve mastered the classic Negroni recipe, try your hand at a few of these delicious variations!

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Lauren Grant
The veggie- and cheese-obsessed lady behind the food blog Zestful Kitchen, Lauren Grant is a trained Culinary Scientist and Journalist. She is a blogger, writer, recipe developer, and self-taught photographer.