Negroni Week: How To Make The Italian Aperitif

By Ellie Smith

8 months ago

Try this sweeter twist on the classic cocktail

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the negroni is the drink of the moment. Whether it’s a classic version or a sbagliato with prosecco in it a la Emma D’Arcy, the Italian tipple is popping up on the menu of any cocktail bar worth its salt these days. But if you’d prefer to try whizzing up your own at home, here’s a recipe to try, created by Gentian Agushi, Bar Manager at Oscar, Charlotte Street Hotel – plus a bit of background on the buzzy drink.

What Is A Negroni?

A classic Italian aperitif, a traditional negroni is made from equal parts of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. It’s usually stirred and served on the rocks – although it can also be shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. The negroni can be tweaked by swapping the type of vermouth or adding other elements – or switching the gin for sparkling wine to make the aforementioned negroni sbagliato, which went viral on TikTok last year. Almost all negronis, however, keep the Campari, which creates that signature bitter taste.


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Recipe: London Negroni with a Twist

This version comes from Gentian Agushi, Bar Manager at Oscar, Charlotte Street Hotel, who says: ‘If someone would ask you to name the 10 most popular cocktails of all time, the negroni is always in there. It was invented in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni when he asked for an Americano, but with gin instead of soda water, at Caffé Casoni in Florence. It’s one of the simplest cocktails there is – equal parts of bitter, vermouth and gin. It’s fun to use this as the base and adapt depending on your mood – subbing in the gin for whisky, vodka or even mezcal. This twist on a negroni uses vodka, cynar (a bittersweet Italian liqueur) and lillet rouge for a sweeter twist on a negroni, but still a balanced version of the original.’


  • 25ml Ketel one Vodka
  • 25ml Cynar bitter aperitif
  • 25ml Lillet Rouge
  • Orange peel, for garnishing


  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until perfectly chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with orange peel.