2 Wintry Riffs on the Classic Negroni Cocktail

These sips are ready for the holiday season and beyond.

December  7, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.

We’ve teamed up with NOLET’S Gin to share our favorite wintry riffs on the classic Negroni cocktail—from spice-infused to seasonal apple. To make these sippers really shine, we’re using NOLET’S Silver Gin, a floral and fruit-forward spirit crafted with real botanicals and over 330 years of Nolet family experience.

It’s that time of year again—the time when many of us start to adjust to shorter days and settle into the longer nights. We’ll bundle up, hunker down, and grab a glass of something comforting. Oftentimes, that glass of something is a darker, browner spirit. But this season, I’m leaning on one of my favorite clear spirits, gin, to mix up a cocktail classic: the Negroni.

Endlessly versatile, the Negroni is the type of drink that works to start your evening, enjoy with dinner, sip as a nightcap, or serve anytime in between. While the traditional Negroni build is a reliable and solid recipe—consisting of equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth—I’ve been experimenting with a couple of seasonal variations that expand on what a Negroni can be. But first a note on the ratio: While all the ingredients are key, I like to make a quality gin the star of my Negronis, and tend to increase the amount in the cocktail so that it really shines through. My pick is NOLET’S Silver Gin for its notes of raspberry, peach, and rose, which add layers of floral complexity and works with a variety of flavor profiles.

Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.

Mulled Wine Negroni

Approaching the holidays, baking and mulling spices are everywhere, so why not include them in your drinks? A simple infusion in sweet vermouth brings those toasted mulling spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and star anise into the Negroni, instantly transforming it into something warm and cozy. This fortified mulled wine easily complements the peach notes of NOLET’S Silver Gin and highlights its subtle elements of rose, as well.

Toasting the spices is easier than you could hope for and works as a quick potpourri, to boot. Just toast the blend in the oven for 10 minutes, filling your home with that lovely aroma, then pour the still-hot spices into the vermouth. The mulling spices need a little more than an hour to infuse, so after the time has passed, strain them off and use them in your next batch of baked goods, like these molasses cookies (simply toast the spices in the oven again at a low temperature, then grind before using). Enjoy this Negroni riff with a spice-pierced twist of orange, served up (no ice) or in a glass with one big rock.

Apple Negroni

Another take on a cold-weather Negroni uses late-in-the-year fruit flavors for a simple and luxurious riff. Using the hearty orchard flavors of apple brandy in tandem with the bitter orange Campari keeps a clean mouthfeel and works to accentuate the raspberry and peach notes of the NOLET’S Silver Gin. The addition of Cynar—an artichoke-based amaro—provides an earthy, bittersweet profile that plays nicely with the hints of rose in the gin. A garnish of fresh apple works as a complementary and functional garnish—just sip, then snack.

What’s your go-to Negroni recipe? Tell us in the comments!

Whether you’re mixing up a Negroni, martini, or your own cocktail creation, NOLET'S Silver Gin is a bar-cart staple this season and beyond. With a rich history that dates back over 330 years, the Nolet Distillery has been crafting quality spirits for 11 generations.

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Harper Fendler

Written by: Harper Fendler

Bartender and writer.