29 Negroni Variations You Can Make At Home

Campari Negroni

Seven days. Three ingredients. One simple way to give back.

That’s the motto of Negroni Week which returns for year six in June. Between June 4 and 10 more than 3,000 bars around the world will take part in what has become an annual holiday for cocktail enthusiasts. The main purpose of Negroni Week, a partnership between Imbibe Magazine and Campari, is to highlight one of the greatest cocktails ever concocted while raising money for a selection of charities.

Many bars play it safe during Negroni Week choosing to stick with the classic: one part London Dry Gin, one part Campari, and one part Sweet Vermouth, and served either on the rocks or up and topped with a twisted orange peel.

Negroni by Imbibe Magazine
Image from Imbibe Magazine

Some bars go further by playing with traditional variants like the Old PalWhite Negroni, or Boulevardier. However, every year an increasing number of bartenders go the distance by creating an in-house variant on the Negroni. Lucky for us, some of those bartenders kindly post the full recipes on the Negroni Week website.

The first iterations of this post were originally written for the defunct website UpOut which operated in five cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. During Negroni Week 2017 lists featuring Negroni variations from each of those cities were created. We thought it would be fun to go ahead and compile as many original 2017 recipes we could find into one list. Below you’ll more than two dozen variants of the Negroni created by some of the finest bars in the United States. You’re welcome.

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Watermelon Rose

…Watermelon Rose
Raise my rent and take off all your clothes
With trench coats, magazines, a bottle full of rum…

If I don’t commemorate it, I will forget. That’s how infrequently I create new cocktails.

The Watermelon Rose is a simple rum sour with some infusions in the mix. I don’t like watermelon, see, and when one arrived in my CSA I just looked balefully at it for a few weeks until the 11th hour. Compost or consume? I decided to drink it.

Threw cubed watermelon into a mix of rum (mostly Kirkland with enough Smith & Cross to make it funky).

While it steeped I decided to use up some dried cranberries in muffins. For more tender fruit, I soaked them for a day in Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (80%) and Luxardo Maraschino (20%). This left me with a sweet fruit liqueur.

Gomme syrup adds mouthfeel, orgeat adds flavor. Add fresh citrus and baby, you got a sour going.

After days of puttering around the house chanting “watermelon rum” in my best Tom Waits growl, I actually looked up the lyrics I thought I was singing. Bother! He doesn’t sing “watermelon rum,” he sings “Watermelon Rose” and “bottle full of rum.” And so my drink found its name.

Watermelon Rose

2 oz. watermelon infused rum
.75 oz fresh lime (lemon is pretty good, too)
.25 oz orgeat (I like Small Hands)
.25 oz gum syrup (again, Small Hands is perfect)
.25 oz cranberry-infused curacao and maraschino mix

Shake with ice and serve.

The Shaddock

Before research taught me that a shaddock is an archaic name for grapefruit or pomelo, I disdained the cocktail name and simply called this one “My Favorite.”

shaddockowl
“Let’s have My Favorite tonight.”
  • .75 oz gin
  • .75 oz Aperol
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz St. Germain

Shake with ice, strain, serve.

In addition to its bright citrus burst, the Shaddock offers a uniquely grapefruity flavor that is present in no single ingredient but miraculously appears when Aperol and St. Germain join forces. (The Humble Garnish pointed out that grapefruit magic with their Apparent Sour.)
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