Last weekend we had some friends in town and took them to my favorite pizza spot in all of Seattle, Cornuto. Not only are their pizzas the best on the West Coast (IMHO), but they also have an excellent bar menu. We ordered a few rounds of drinks to experience the entire breadth of the menu, but one of my personal faves was the Negroni. Typically, a classic Negroni is made of one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari, then garnished with an orange peel. Ever on a mission to put my own twist on a classic cocktail, I asked Rocky, our resident cocktail expert for a twist on the Negroni… and it is sooooo good!
So how exactly is our Negroni different? Well, we swapped in Aperol instead of Campari and added a few dashes of special bitters for an even more flavorful cocktail. Both Campari and Aperol are Italian aperitivo spirits, or aperitifs, but Aperol is is decidedly less bitter — and has a really fun vibrant orange hue! The flavor has a lovely herbal taste with notes of fresh orange (and some even say rhubarb, but I’m definitely not that fancy). The result of this mix is a beautifully balanced aperitivo inspired by my time in Italy!
Our Twist on the Classic Negroni
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz dry vermouth
- castelvetrano olives
- 1 oz Aperol
- 3 dashes grapefruit bitters
- 2 dashes celery bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass over ice for 45 seconds.
- Strain into a small rocks glass over ice and garnish with a castelvetrano olive (or two!) on a cocktail pick.
Honestly, my favorite part of this drink is the olives! When serving this delicious cocktail to guests, I always put out a bowl of leftover olives for snacking. While I was in Italy, I also noticed that most aperitivos are served with a bowl of salty potato chips. The pairing is really quite satisfying!
Also, considering how easy our Aperol Negroni is to make, this is a great cocktail to serve guests because it’s not too labor intensive (um hello, Ramos Fizz). Also, Aperol is not as alcoholic as Campari which makes it perfect for some quality late summer day drinking. The next time we entertain on the sailboat, I fully intend on making a few of these for our guests!
So what do you think?? We hope you love our simple twist on this classic cocktail as much as we do!
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Photography and styling by Jojotastic. Recipe developed by Raquel Roof for Jojotastic.
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