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The indulgent negroni combination a bottle of Campari, Two Birds Gin, Vermouth

Negroni ingredients and variations

Published: March 9, 2021 at 4:25 pm
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Choose between traditional and twists on the classic combination to make this Italian three-ingredient cocktail with our expert guide from founder of Gin Foundry, Olivier Ward

Want to know the best negroni ingredients? Negronis are made up of three important ingredients. You can go for either the classic combination of gin, vermouth and campari, or try our variations and combinations below. To get the cocktail right, check out our best negroni recipes.

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Negroni ingredients to try

The classic negroni ingredients

Classic negronis deliver a mercurial combination of bitter, fruity and juniper-laced tones all in one go. Accentuated by an orange peel garnish, there is citrus lift on the nose before the barrage of flavours dance across your mouth. For a classic combination, try Sipsmith Gin with Dolin Rouge and Campari.

The London Dry Gin is smooth, juniper forward and multifaceted in its own right; but crucially, it brings a classically styled flavour profile to the mix. Dolin Rouge is one of the most overlooked quality vermouths on the market – it's perfectly balanced combining bittersweet sarsaparilla, winter spices and a dry finish, ideal for negronis.


The indulgent negroni ingredients

Sometimes, you want a lot of depth to a negroni as well as some weight on the mouthfeel. Picking the right gin to do this is only half of the answer if you really want to achieve greatness. Begin with Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth for its slightly syrupy profile of dried fruits, cherries and a touch of cinnamon.

Then, choose a gin that’s both unusual and that will stand up to heavier nature of its partner. Two Birds Sipping Gin is a double wooded gin, which sees the distillery’s Old Tom Gin undergo a unique maturation using a combination of virgin pecan wood and small European casks.

The gin is sweet, delicious and at 47.5% ABV, matches the vermouth and Campari to perfection. The richness and complexity of this deep ruby and ambered negroni will have your senses titillating with excitement while also delivering a carefully contemplative mix.


The light and lively negroni ingredients

Both Martin Miller’s Gin and Belsazar Vermouth Rosé offer lighter, fresher takes on their respective categories, but without compromising on taste. Pink grapefruit, orange blossom, raspberries and redcurrants bring out the flavourful top notes of the Rosé Vermouth, which are perfectly matched in Martin Miller’s bright and buoyant flavours.

With Campari in the mix, the citrusy aspects are accentuated and the trio create a light, lively negroni, aptly nicknamed a Pink Negroni, that’s impeccable for pairing with canapés.


The aromatic negroni ingredients

Mancino Rosso Amaranto Vermouth is made using 38 botanicals including rhubarb root, juniper berries, orange zest, cloves and myrrh. When paired with Swedish made Herno London Dry Gin, it compliments the big meadowsweet flavours inherent to all of the distillery’s gins – creating an aromatic, almost medicinal combination with the Campari.

As a pre-dinner combination, this will whet your appetite perfectly, but when served with Manchego cheese, quince or cured meats – it positively supreme.


The fragrant negroni ingredients

Aperol is another alternative to Campari. It’s slightly sweeter, has less forceful herbal tones and about half the alcohol content. When used in a negroni, we find that it works best with lively almost perfumed gins such as G’Vine Nouaison. The gin adds a beautiful heady aroma of soft flowers and grapes, but still has juniper at it’s core.

This works well with the Aperol but to round off the trilogy, try Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino. The Vermouth is both immensely complex with fruity liquorice and a slight smokiness – but it’s not overpowering. In this combination, it helps anchor the Aperol and G’Vine duo, which would otherwise lack a firm backbone to make a negroni that really resonates.


The delicate negroni ingredients

Campari is not for everyone and for those who don’t like negronis, the bitter orange aperitif is usually the cause of their scrupled faces. If that sounds like you, fear not, you can still make a negroni – you just need to change the style of vermouth and the choice of “bitters”.

For a more delicate mix, try equal parts of Shortcross Gin, Lillet Blanc Dry Vermouth and Suze in a White Negroni. The aromatic Gentian notes of Suze, combined with its honey like sweetness add depth to the soft and fruity Lillet Blanc. Shortcross Gin harnesses both of these elements and with its mellow wood, fruity berries and underlying leafy tones, is a match made in heaven.


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Olivier Ward, editor of Gin Foundry, is the resident gin expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and co-host of the acclaimed gin festival Junipalooza. Olivier is renowned for having a holistic view on how gin works, both in its making, the way it is brought to market and how best to pair it in your glass


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