5 Ingredients or Fewer

The Perfect Negroni

September  1, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 2 minutes
  • Makes 1
Author Notes

Lovers of classic happy hour drinks, rejoice! This Negroni recipe’s 1:1:1 ratio will be the easiest cocktail you’ll ever memorize. The Negroni is at its finest as an aperitif—all those tasty herbs wake up and cleanse the taste buds, preparing them for an excellent meal. —Erika Kotite

Test Kitchen Notes

This Negroni recipe is a classic Italian cocktail worth knowing and using. As Erika writes, the Negroni is "a storied drink layered completely with alcoholic ingredients. It has nothing to hide behind, and when made right, it shows." The Negroni's ingredients are simple—gin, Campari, and vermouth—but its flavor is wonderfully complex.

Our favorite Negroni variations? The Sbagliato, of course (swap in Prosecco for gin), the Boulevardier (swap in bourbon for gin and up the proportions), the White Negroni and—hear us out!—the cold brew version. For the latter, add a healthy pour of cold brew (about an ounce and a half) to your Negroni, and up the vermouth a splash—you can thank us later.

If you don't have a cocktail shaker, don't sweat it; any Negroni can be simply stirred with ice, then poured. It makes for a great batch cocktail, too—just mix in advance and wait to chill until just before serving. What's the best gin for Negroni? Whichever style you like best, whether it's light-bodied London dry or grassy, spicy Navy strength (or anything in between). Personally, we're fans of Tanqueray and Hendricks, but it's your cocktail hour, and therefore your rules. Any sweet vermouth will do the trick here, and if you happen to have a special bottle like Carpano Antica or Punt e Mes, now's the perfect time to pull it out.

According to Erika, "When General Pascal Olivier Count de Negroni (yes, he was real!) walked into a Florence bar back in the 1920s, he ordered an Americano with some important changes: 'No soda—gin instead,' he said. It's bitter and herbal from the Campari, warm from the gin, and smooth from the vermouth. This is one of the best before-dinner drinks ever invented, plain and simple." We'll toast to that. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
The Perfect Negroni
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • ice
  • orange peel (for garnish)
  1. Stir gin, Campari, and vermouth in a shaker or mixing glass filled partway with ice.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Janet Roderick
    Janet Roderick
  • LouLou
  • Rachel Rotner
    Rachel Rotner
  • Jason McKenzie
    Jason McKenzie
  • Yaya
I spend about an equal amount of time behind the laptop and behind the stove. In between preparing and writing about food, I love to hang out with my husband, three children, big shaggy dog and two cats. History is also my thing, especially the Regency period, U.S. Westward expansion and World War II. Favorite drinks: good pinot noirs and classic martinis. Favorite book: Pride & Prejudice. Favorite obsessions: Laura Ingalls Wilder and South Dakota

28 Reviews

penny June 18, 2023
What about "perfect" Negroni being 1/2 oz sweet and 1/2 oz dry vermouth! Sometimes it seems too sweet. I
Alex June 24, 2020
Strong disagree on the proportions. I won’t make claims about what’s “right” or “authentic” but I thought Negronis were gross until I tried 2:1:1. For me the Campari totally overpowers the gin at 1:1:1. Then again, I like gin.
Jason M. June 24, 2020
A Negroni is an equal parts drink. End of story. If you don't like them, Negroni don't care. All these people don't like this or that in a Negroni, want to change this or that, serve it on ice blah blah. It has THREE ingredients. If you don't like one of them, drink something else!
Janet R. November 1, 2019
I ditch the vermouth. I just don't like it. Equal parts gin and Campari is perfect for me. Of course, I also don't put vermouth in a gin martini. Good gin, 2 olives and a few drops of olive juice is the way I go. Make the drink you like.
İlkay O. June 18, 2018
It’s better With Antica Formula from İtaly:)
LouLou April 25, 2016
I wanted to like this cocktail because I love Campari, however, it was just too "alchoholy" tasting. :(
Claire S. May 26, 2016
Same here :/ any suggestions for a solid cocktail with Campari?
Fe L. December 20, 2018
SusanSeattle June 2, 2019
Last time I was in Italy, I had a Negroni spritz. It's a negroni with the gin replaced with a double portion of prosecco
Winifred R. June 2, 2019
Personally I like freshly squeezed blood orange juice Campari (equal parts). Call me a wuss if you like, but it suited my tastebuds.
Winifred R. June 2, 2019
I see I miss "and" between orange juice and Campari. Please excuse my missed edit.
Rachel R. December 30, 2015
Jason McKenzie is absolute correct! No ice in glass. also negroni is stirred with ice, not shaken. The pour in martini glass. No ice. Garnish with orange peel.
Jason M. June 19, 2015
No, no, no, no! Rim a martini glass with orange peel, shake 1/1/1 with ice, strain into martini glass, flame and garnish with orange twist. This bs trend of using huge ice blocks and serving them in rocks glasses messes up and misses the secret to this drink - the extra orange peel oil floating on top, which you need a martini glass to do properly. And the last thing you want is to water it down with melting ice. I sincerely think people get so caught up in trends they don't even bother to taste what they are making.
CarlaK October 26, 2014
You haven't had a great Negroni untl you have one made with Carpano Antica Formula vermouth. A true game changer! The vermouth also makes for a fabulous Americano. Campari all the way.
khephra February 13, 2014
A classic Negroni is NOT I repeat NOT a 1:1:1 ratio. It's 3:2:1 with a twist of lemon peel NOT orange. I don't know where these people come up with these recipes unless they're just lazy or drunk.
Wayne D. June 4, 2014
International bartenders guild disagree's with you
ashgod June 4, 2014
Per the Campari website, a Negroni IS INDEED 1:1:1 and IS INDEED garnished with orange, not lemon. Having been to Milan, home of the cocktail, many many times, Food52 and Erika have it correct. Campari's recipe here: http://www.campari.com/int/en/cocktails/list/negroni/
Judi December 31, 2015
That's completely wrong.
Michelle C. May 16, 2020
1:1:1 seems like the consensus, but I have to +1 switching to 3:2:1 gin to vermouth to Campari — basically substituting half the Campari for gin. Love the bitterness of the Campari but with 1:1:1 it’s way too sweet for us.
Aimless February 5, 2014
I was inspired to make one that I'm about to drink right now. Using Punt e Mes and I also boosted the gin (Plymouth) to two ounces. It's less sweet and brings the Campari forward. The ultimate aperitif.
Yaya September 15, 2013
The Negroni is a great drink to serve in a large silver bowl sitting on ice! A great party drink that can be prepared ahead of time. We were introduced to it in SF and then on to Italy!
Darla 2. May 23, 2013
I use Punt e Mes as well, but I thought it *was* a vermouth?
midasw March 29, 2013
My old man taught me 50 years ago to substitute Punt e Mes for the vermouth. In Italy this variant is called a "Milano Torino". Try it!
Paula G. February 24, 2013
Sarah. In memory of Father Eddie.
Tom S. February 7, 2013
BTW...their regular cocktail menu is awesome too.
Tom S. February 7, 2013
Fig is by far one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Great, distinctly low country food, not pretentious. If you go, this should be your first restaurant to visit. Yea, Husk is good too, but Fig is my favorite.
Tom S. February 7, 2013
Fig restaurant in Charleston has a variety of Negroni cocktails on their menu. Check them out. Outlandish!!
Erika K. February 7, 2013
Wow--they take their cocktails seriously! Charleston bumps up a few places on my "must go" list now. Thanks for the tip.