- Cocktails and Spirits
August 22, 2012
The Beet Negroni cocktail.
Made by Will Lazar at New York City's Parm. Watch the video of how to make it.
Calories Per Serving
- 1 Ounce beet gin
- 1 Ounce Campari
- 1 Ounce sweet vermouth
For the beet gin, soak beets in gin for 1 week. When ready, stir all ingredients together and strain over ice. Garnish with orange twist.
Calories Per Serving163
Folate equivalent (total)0.3µg0.1%
Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.
The Negroni: Recipes for the Summer's Best Cocktail
Meet the Negroni, the refreshingly bitter Italian cocktail with a billion delicious variations. It’s only marginally harder to make than opening up a Bud—and if you’re like us, it’ll be your go-to thirst quencher until the first nip of autumn
I learned to make my first Negroni at a Godfather-themed party. The idea was for guests to inhale lasagna, watch the trilogy, and drink our fill of the most gangsterish cocktail ever invented. My lesson came from an off-duty bartender at the party who, after an eye roll, showed me how simple it is: Mix one part gin—any’ll do, but I prefer the fresh edge of Hendrick’s—with one part Campari and one part sweet vermouth, like Carpano Antica.
A Negroni, like black coffee or Texas, is an acquired taste. Your first sip is a bracingly sharp sucker punch. Halfway through the glass, you start to get the drink’s fascinating contradictions: It’s refreshing and dry, pleasantly bitter, and ghostly sweet. And unlike a margarita or a cold beer, a Negroni can’t be guzzled. You’ve gotta take it slow.
It’s also easy to adjust to your liking. If you want to tame the bitterness, use less Campari or up the vermouth. In fact, cocktail geeks all around the country have been playing fast and loose with the traditional one-to-one-to-one Negroni recipe. So even if the original doesn’t quite hit your sweet spot, there’s a spin-off that will. What we have here is a crazy-flexible, endlessly riffable, undeniable drink. An offer you can’t refuse. [
Campfire’s Roasted Beets Cocktail
Wood-fired fare is a specialty of the bar and kitchen at Campfire in Carlsbad, California, and in this beet cocktail, head bartender Leigh Lacap gives roasted beets a quick char prior to infusing them in gin.
2 oz. roasted beet-infused gin
½ oz. honey syrup (3:1 honey to water)
¼ oz. ginger syrup (3:2 fine sugar to juiced ginger root)
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
Tools: shaker, strainer
Garnish: thyme sprig
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish.
Roasted Beet-Infused Gin: Peel at least 1 lb. of red beets and place them on a large sheet pan lined with foil. Bake the beets in an oven heated to 400 degrees F for about 1 hour, then allow them to cool and halve them. Heat a wood-fired or charcoal grill to medium-high heat and toss the cooked beets in canola or grapeseed oil with a touch of salt. Place the beets directly over the grill grate and roast until a sight char develops. Remove them from the grill and allow them to cool slightly, then slice them into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Weigh out ¾ lb. of beets and place them in a plastic vacuum bag with a liter of gin. Seal the bag and sous vide at 140 degrees for 4 hours. Once the infusion is done, remove the bag from a hot bath and shock in ice water until infusion is cool. Fine strain the gin into a bottle. Alternatively, infuse 1 lb. of the beets with 1 liter of gin in an airtight jar for 2-3 days before fine straining.
Leigh Lacap, Campfire, Carlsbad, California
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Over the years, we tweaked it, as you might guess, given my nature. My husband, Wills, makes a batch of “The Potion” as we call it and pours it into a porcelain topped Italian faceted bottle (that we used to bottle the SP vinegars in). Now it’s always at the ready. These days, he mixes equal parts Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Vodka. He then fills a tall glass with ice, half way. Top it off with club soda and a good squeeze of an orange wedge before adding it to the glass……with finally, the secret ingredient….a small squirt of fresh grapefruit juice. To me, it’s The Very Best Negroni Ever!
No bartender has ever made one better, in my estimation. Is it too bitter? To me it tweaks the taste buds, opening them for the food flavors to follow. Too bitter? As the Negroni celebrates it’s 100 th Birthday, given the age we now live in, I think it’s perfect.
Classic Cynar Cocktails
-1 ounce gin
-1 ounce Cynar
-1 ounce sweet vermouth
Directions: Stir all ingredients well with ice. Strain and serve over fresh ice, or up. Garnish with lemon twist.
For a darker take on the Negroni, sub in Cynar for Campari. Switching out the Negroni’s orange twist for the lemon twist is a small change that makes a big impact, as the lemon notes brighten the bitter that Cynar brings to the table.
-2 ounces Cynar
-3 ounces Prosecco
-1 ounce soda
Directions: Stir Cynar lightly with ice in a large wine glass. Top with Prosecco and soda, and stir lightly again. Garnish with lemon twist, olives, or both.
Cynar replaces Aperol in this standard Spritz recipe (neither Aperol or Campari are offended, since all three are family members) and once again provides a darker, more robust take on a classic. Consider using grapefruit soda in place of regular soda, and a grapefruit twist to match.
But don’t stop there feel free to try any citrus soda and corresponding twist. Even simpler than a Cynar Spritz is a basic Cynar and tonic or Cynar and soda. These Cynar cocktails are low ABV refreshers that will serve you well during aperitivo hour.
Bitters and Aromatics
The ingredients mentioned to this point get us about 90% there, and this is where we draw a line in the sand.
If you include bitters in this negroni recipe, it transitions from an alcohol-free negroni to a non-alcoholic negroni—maybe. Bitters contain alcohol, and a few dashes of these high-proof extracts can increase a drink’s ABV surprisingly fast. In my collection of bitters (nearly 50 types), the alcohol content ranges anywhere from 28% ABV to 51% ABV.
Due to brand variations in bitters bottles and dashing technique, it’s hard to judge the amount of alcohol contributed when your recipe’s measurement is a “dash”. In my quick tests, a dash of Bitter Truth yields anywhere from .53ml to 1.18ml, while a dashes of Regan’s Orange ranges from .34ml to 1.66ml. Factors like how full the bottle is, the angle of your dash, and the speed/force of your dash have a relatively large impact. Why does it matter?
In the U.S., non-alcoholic is defined as less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. The formula to determine a cocktail’s ABV is simple. For each ingredient, multiply the percentage ABV (in decimal form) by the volume of the ingredient. Next, add those amounts for each ingredient. Then divide that result by the recipe’s final yield. (Here is a link to a handy Google Spreadsheet that’ll do the calculations for you.)
Generally, I’d consider this calculation to be splitting hairs, but some prefer to abstain entirely from alcohol for various reasons. The inclusion of bitters could make a cocktail up to 1% – 2+% ABV (depending on the variables), and therefore it would no longer be considered non-alcoholic.
- Once you add bitters, the cocktail is certainly no longer alcohol-free.
- Depending on the strength and amount of bitters added, the resulting cocktail may or may not be legally non-alcoholic.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I find that including Bitter Truth’s Tonic Bitters (43% ABV) and Regan’s Orange Bitters (45% ABV) tie together this negroni-esque recipe, but they push the recipe’s alcohol percentage to around 1.39% ABV. (Disclaimer: This is a roughly measured amount.) For reference, 1.5% ABV is roughly the level found in a strong kombucha.
Bitter Truth Tonic and Regan’s Orange No. 6 Bitters
If that’s worrisome, simply omit the bitters or use less of them. Use my cocktail ABV calculator to see how much wiggle room you have. If you only use 2 dashes of Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters, you’ll be at around 0.87% ABV in the final recipe. In either case, garnishing with an expressed orange peel is a must. This brings back the citrus aromatics that aren’t as prominent in the Giffard Aperitif Syrup.
The Ultimate Negroni Recipe
*A Negroni is typically stirred, not shaken. But try a light shake, as you see below the cocktail has enough sweet components to warrant a slight froth.
The Negroni is, quite simply, a perfect cocktail. Maybe it&rsquos the perfect cocktail. With equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, it couldn&rsquot be easier to make, proving that, like Stooges and Musketeers, the best things really do come in threes. Intended to be sipped, it&rsquos refreshing on a hot day. It&rsquos youthful next to an Old Fashioned. It lends the drinker a certain continental sophistication. And it doesn&rsquot skimp on the ABV.
Bitter, sweet, dry, and refreshing all at once, the carmine-colored cocktail has developed a reputation as a summer mainstay, but the truth is there&rsquos never really a bad time to whip one up. And this year, the Negroni is celebrating its hundredth birthday. We&rsquoll drink to that.
A Little Background
A full century ago, an Italian Count by the name of Camillo Negroni stepped into his favorite café and pleaded for something stronger than his typical Americano&mdasha concoction of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. (He was likely ordering it by its original name, the Milano-Torino, or Mi-To, but it was rebranded for the American ex-pats who came to love it during Prohibition.) His friend and bartender Fosco Scarselli substituted gin for soda, added an orange garnish, and the Negroni was born.
Over the last 100 years, the Negroni has picked up quite the following: Our Esquire colleague Ernest Hemingway was a noted fan of the drink, as was the late great Anthony Bourdain, who frequently made them for his film crew while on the road. In 2013, Imbibe Magazine and Campari launched an annual event called &ldquoNegroni Week&rdquo that has raised around $2 million for various charitable causes, and of course, enormous awareness of the three-ingredient cocktail.
Need a fun party fact? Until 2006, Campari (which gives the drink its color) got its ruby red hue from crushed-up little bugs called cochineals. Campari uses an artificial dye now, but cochineals are still common in the spirits world. Bottoms up.
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If You Like This, Try These
Any Negroni lover looking to switch things up should start where it all began: the Americano (née: Mi-To). Swap in club soda for the gin and garnish with lemon for a lower-ABV option that still packs a bite. For another summer option, try the Negroni&rsquos cousin: an Aperol Spritz. Aperol is both lighter and less bitter than Campari, with an equal amount of sweetness. Vermouth or Campari solo over rocks also makes for a stylish order, but be warned: They tend to catch up with you faster than you might think.
What is a Classic Negroni?
The Negroni is a classic gin cocktail that is easy to make and a favorite among many. Because of its sweet nature, the Negroni is enjoyed by those who even claim not to like gin ?. The classic Negroni is made with Campari which is a bitter liqueur with notes of sweet cherry and orange.
What’s in a Modern Negroni?
This Modern Negroni Cocktail Recipe is an updated version of the Negroni with a herbal quality that is simply divine. The herbal flavor comes from a made-in-Oregon liqueur called Calisaya. If you cant find Calisaya made by Elixir Craft Spirits, you could substitute with another sweet herbal liqueur such as amaro.
What Gin To Use In a Modern Negroni
The type of gin you use is always up to you and there is a lot of debate on the internet about which gin is perfect. The Classic Negroni is made with a clean, clear gin like Hendrick’s, Aviation, Tanqueray, or Plymouth to name a few. For this MOdern version, I like to use an Old Tom Gin, specifically Ransom, which is slightly sweeter than London Dry, but also slightly drier. If you don’t have an Old Tom Gin, you can also use your gin of choice.
What Vermouth To Use In a Modern Negroni
For a proper Negroni, classic or modern, you need to use a sweet vermouth. There are many different brands out there and many different price points. Two of my favorite brands are Dolin and Cocchi. This is again, personal preference, but please make sure you use a sweet vermouth for this cocktail.
Shaken or Stirred?
The Modern Negroni and Classic Negroni should be stirred for the best results. The easy rule of thumb to follow is if there is citrus juice or a foaming agent like egg white in your cocktail, you should shake it. If there is just liqueur, stir it. Stirring a cocktail still gets the liquids cold, but keeps the drink clear. The negroni should be cold and clear.
The Right Bar Tools Make All The Difference.
Being a home bartender can be so much fun…if you have the right tools. You don’t have to break the bank and you don’t have to own EVERY tool you’ve ever seen at a bar. BUT, if you want good cocktails, you need the right tools. Check out my post Home Bar Tool Essentials for suggestions on the best tools for home bartenders.
My initial reaction was that this Negroni was very citrusy — I loved that.
This drink wasn't nearly as bitter as the others since it had just a bit of that bite as an aftertaste. My only regret is that I didn't put enough ice in the shaker, so the served drink wasn't nearly as cold as I would've liked.
The recipe recommends between 1 to 2 ounces of aperol. I went straight for the middle, 1.5 ounces, and thought it was perfect. I like the flavor of lemon more than orange anyway, so that swap was a great move in my book.
If I make this drink in the future, I would serve it over ice instead of neat, as well — the colder, the better.
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Negroni Week with Mezcal El Silencio’s Cocktail Recipes!
It’s the 100th anniversary of the Negroni cocktail this year, and Negroni Week is coming up June 24-30! In case you are unfamiliar, Negroni Week is a national celebration of the beloved cocktail across 10,000 venues that has raised over $2M for charities worldwide. You can learn more about the range of charities here: https://negroniweek.com/charities/categories/.
Mezcal El Silencio is participating around the country next week with a twist on the traditional for Mezcal Negroni specials. You can now locate a venue near you offering Mezcal Negronis for a good cause with Silencio’s new Negroni Week Guide, which includes LA, the Bay Area, San Diego, Las Vegas, New York, Baltimore, DC, Austin, Houston, and Dallas.
Want to find a place closer to you that is participating in Negroni Week? Check out this page: https://negroniweek.com/venues
Or you can visit this page: https://negroniweek.com/charities/categories/ and click on the NEAR ME icon in the upper left corner in the first line of the icons describing charity categories. Plug in your city, state and zip code and you will find places near you!
1 oz Mezcal El Silencio Espadin
Method: Stir into glass over ice, garnish with an orange peel and serve.
OAXACAN BEET NEGRONI INGREDIENTS – 1 oz. Beet infused El Silencio Espadin* – 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth – 1 oz. Campari METHOD Stir with ice & Strain Rocks Glass – Orange Peel * Beet infused El Silencio Espadin * – 9 Beets(rough chopped) – 1 bottle ES Espadin (750 ml) Combine ingredients and let sit for 48 hours. Fine strain and bottle.
OAXACAN BEET NEGRONI
1 oz Beet infused El Silencio Espadin*
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
1 oz Campari
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain.
*Beet-infused El Silencio Espadin –
Ingredients and Method:
9 Beets(rough chopped)
1 bottle of Mezcal El Silencio Espadin (750 ml)
Combine ingredients and let sit for 48 hours.
Fine strain and bottle.
Negroni Week Near you!
Bars and Restaurants in greater Los Angeles that are participating in the Negroni week promotion from El Silencio are listed below in black! If you are not in greater Los Angeles, please visit this page to find places near you!
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