Learn / Negroni: What It Is, How It Tastes, & How To Make It

Negroni: What It Is, How It Tastes, & How To Make It

Aplós, July 6th, 2023

The Negroni — an exquisite symphony of equal parts, each with its distinct resonance that collectively serenades the senses. An Italian masterpiece and a global sensation, the Negroni has been a favorite cocktail of discerning connoisseurs, embodying the very essence of Italian la dolce vita.

Much like a Tuscan sunset, it offers a taste of the languidly beautiful, the gently intoxicating, the unforgettably magical. Its scarlet hues reflect the warm Italian sunsets, its robust flavor profile echoing the rich, vibrant character of its birthplace.

How can you experience the gentle joys of a Negroni from your own living room, on the fire escape during an orange-streaked summer sunset, or on the rooftop, shared amongst friends and drenched in deep twilight? Reach for your favorite glass, and let's dive in.

What Is a Negroni?

A Negroni is a study in balance and sophistication. Typically composed of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, this exquisite cocktail serves as a testament to the Italian mastery of taste and refinement. The sharpness of dry gin, the floral complexity of red vermouth, and the herbaceous bitterness of Campari conspire to craft a flavor profile as layered as a Puccini opera.

The Negroni is not bound by its classic constraints. Indeed, the cocktail's adaptability is as lauded as its traditional recipe. The White Negroni, for instance, substitutes Campari with gentian liqueur and sweet vermouth with dry, offering an innovative twist on the classic.

Yet another testament to the drink's versatility is the Negroni Sbagliato — a favorite of HBO’s Emma D’Arcy that has inspired cocktail concoctions near and far. A happy accident resulted in a beautiful divergence, where prosecco usurped the gin's place, offering a lighter, sparkling version of the classic.

No matter how many guises the Negroni may adopt, its soul remains constant. The bitter-sweet symphony of its flavors, the delicate dance between robustness and refinement, the homage it pays to its roots.

A Glimpse Into the History of the Negroni

Count Camillo Negroni was a man of discerning taste and an adventurous spirit. In the early 20th century Florence, at the heart of the Italian Renaissance, the Count yearned for a drink more invigorating than the popular Americano served at Caffè Casoni.

Seeking to amplify the Americano's depth, the barkeep replaced soda water with dry gin, and thus, the classic Negroni was born. Count Negroni's penchant for the robust had unknowingly carved a legacy that would transcend generations and geographical borders.

The spirit of the Negroni lies nestled within its Italian origins, as integral to the cocktail as the gin, vermouth, and Campari. Italy, with its cobblestone streets, grand piazzas, and the warm Mediterranean sun, breathes life into the Negroni. Each sip serves as a passport to a Tuscan landscape, bathed in the warm hues of a setting sun.

The Negroni Today

The Negroni has become a global sensation, its allure capturing the hearts of cosmopolitan cities and pop culture alike. Take New York, where Negroni week sees the city's high-end bars and Michelin-starred restaurants pay homage to this beloved Italian import.

In the spirit of innovation, sparkling wine, tequila, and Mezcal have all found their way into various interpretations of the Negroni, showcasing the cocktail's versatile nature. These variations continue to enhance the Negroni's rich tapestry, adding exciting new layers to its already intricate flavor profile.

Tasting Notes: The Flavor Symphony of a Negroni

What does a Negroni taste like? It's a symphony of flavors — a harmonious collision of bitter, sweet, and potent notes.

The initial encounter is bold and bitter, thanks to the defining presence of Campari. Yet, just as the bitterness teases the taste buds, the sweet vermouth steps in, casting a velvety, floral blanket over the sharpness. And the dry gin? It binds these contrasting elements, adding a juniper-infused potency that underscores the entire experience.

A Negroni whispers stories of its Italian heritage with every sip, its flavors painting an ethereal, sensory tableau of sun-drenched piazzas, exuberant laughter, and the resounding clink of toasting glasses.

The Art of the Aperitif: Understanding the Negroni's Role

An aperitif is more than a pre-dinner drink — it's a prelude, an anticipatory celebration of the culinary journey to follow. The Negroni, with its enchanting blend of bitterness and sweetness, ignites the appetite and prepares the palate, embodying the true spirit of an aperitif.

The Negroni's role as an aperitif is deepened by its use of fortified wines. Sweet vermouth, or 'rosso,' as it is affectionately known in Italy, is a type of fortified wine. The acclaimed Carpano brand is often the vermouth of choice, adding a layer of complexity to the cocktail.

How To Make the Classic Negroni

Crafting a Negroni is akin to creating a piece of art. The canvas: your choice of an old fashioned glass, rocks glass, or cocktail glass. The paints: equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. The brush strokes: a careful mix, a considered pour, and the final flourish of an orange peel or orange slice garnish.

For this classic cocktail, the process begins with a mixing glass. Pour in the spirits, each lending its unique hues and characteristics to the liquid canvas.

As the ingredients meld, the glass echoes with the unseen notes of the Negroni's harmony. The cocktail is then strained over ice cubes in your chosen vessel, adopting a form that heightens its innate sophistication. Lastly, the addition of the orange garnish brings a vibrant pop of color and a burst of citrus scent that teases the senses.

Contemporary Takes on the Negroni

The Negroni is a timeless classic, but it's also a template for innovation. The Boulevardier, a whiskey-based variation, replaces the gin with bourbon, providing a warmer, richer profile. The Manhattan, while not a direct variation, carries the spirit of the Negroni, trading the gin for whiskey and the Campari for bitters.

The shared love for this classic Italian cocktail continues to inspire mixologists and enthusiasts alike to push boundaries, experiment with flavors, and reinterpret the Negroni recipe in their unique way.

The Aplós Negroni: A Luxurious Adaptation

Imagine a Negroni, familiar yet entirely new, its essence reimagined with all the complexities you adore, yet none of the ramifications you don't. Enter the Aplós Negroni, a sublime interpretation of the classic that celebrates sophistication, wellness, and innovation.

Crafted with Aplós Arise, this adaptation takes the vibrant, earthy character of the traditional Negroni and elevates it with a proprietary blend of adaptogens.

Arise is a bold, captivating blend of citrus and herbal botanicals. It boasts a layered flavor profile, much like its alcoholic counterparts, but without any alcohol content — stimulating and elevating the senses without the negative effects.

Why Use Functional Spirits in Your Negroni?

A functional spirit like Aplós Arise provides an elevated alternative to alcohol, marrying the sensorial pleasure of a traditional spirit with the holistic health benefits of plant-based ingredients. Incorporating Arise into your Negroni cocktail recipe means you're not only indulging in a sophisticated, high-quality beverage, but also nourishing your body.

Adaptogens, nature's botanical marvels, play a vital role in supporting balance and vitality, contributing to a drink that encourages, rather than impairs, your well-being. With an Aplós Negroni, you can toast to the evening without compromising the vibrancy of the morning.

The Aplós Negroni Recipe

As the sun dips below the horizon and the sky is awash with hues of twilight, it's time to pour yourself a drink that is as complex as the twilight hour itself. The Aplós Negroni is not just a cocktail but a crafted experience that transcends the traditional confines of time and taste.


  • Aplós Arise, 2 oz.
  • Blood orange bitters, 3 oz.
  • Simple syrup, ¼ oz.
  • Fresh orange slice

The cornerstone of this elegant elixir is Arise, our non-alcoholic adaptogenic spirit, measured out in a generous pour of 2 oz. Arise brings with it an earthy boldness that is enlivened by the radiant zing of blood orange bitters.

As the elements come together, they create a cocktail that dances on the palette, a blend of botanical complexity and citrus brightness that invites you to savor every sip. To complete this luxurious adaptation, add an orange slice garnish.

The orange slice, radiant against the dusky liquid, not only presents a feast for the eyes but also introduces a fresh citrus aroma that teases the senses, preparing them for the symphony of flavors to follow.

Pour this captivating concoction over a large ice cube in your favorite glass. Whether you're toasting to the setting sun or welcoming the moon's soft glow, the Aplós Negroni is the perfect companion to a moment of unwind. It's more than just a drink — it's a mindful celebration of the here and now.

Embark on a Reverie With the Timeless Negroni

A Negroni is more than a cocktail. It is a celebration of balance and complexity, a testament to the art of Italian mixology, and an ode to the joys of savoring the moment. Each sip whispers stories of rich history, captivating the senses and inviting you to partake in a timeless ritual that stretches back to the lively cafes of Florence.

Whether served in an old fashioned glass, a rocks glass, or a sophisticated cocktail glass, whether garnished with an orange peel or a vibrant slice of orange, a Negroni remains eternally captivating, endlessly evocative.

Enjoyed in its classic form, with a twist, or in a sophisticated, health-conscious version like the Aplós take on a Negroni, the essence of this timeless cocktail remains unaltered. The Negroni invites you to savor the moment, embrace balance, and revel in the rich tapestry of life, one sip at a time.


How the negroni sbagliato took off with the help of Emma D’Arcy and TikTok | Cocktails | The Guardian

The History of How the Negroni Conquered America | The Daily Beast

Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Old and Novel, and Their Potential Effects on Human Health, with a Focus on Hydration and Cardiometabolic Health | PMC

Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity | PMC

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