italian negroni cocktail on table with olives
Italian Lifestyle

Classic Negroni cocktail recipe: how to make Italy’s favorite cocktail

How to make Negroni cocktail: classic Negroni recipe to make a perfect Negorni at home, best ingredients and a quick history of its origins.

Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail.

Born in Florence thanks to the creativity of Count Negroni (see below), it is a 3 ingredient cocktail that puts together some of the most beloved alcoholic beverages in Italy: Campari, Vermouth and Gin.

Served in an old-fashioned glass with ice and orange zest, Negroni is a stong cocktails suited to late nights more than a casual aperitivo.

This is the recipe you need to make a classic Negroni.

Ingredients for a classic Negroni

The Ingredients for a traditional Negroni cocktail are:

  • Campari: 3 oz
  • Gin 3oz
  • Vermouth (Martini Rosso) 3oz

Or smaller quantities of each, as long as the ration 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 is respected

Glass: old fashioned

Ice: yes, cubes

Garnish: orange peel or thin slice of orange in the drink or on the rim of the glass.

How to make a classic Negroni

As well as delicious, classic Negroni is a cocktail that is super easy to make, the ratio of the ingredients being 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 and the process as simple as pouring and stirring!

For a perfect Negroni, simply take a od fashioned glass, then add ice cubes. Using a cocktail jigger / measuring cup, pour in your gin, Martini Rosso and Campari, then add a small piece of orange peel and stir well.

Serve immediately.

The three bottles you need for this classic Negroni recipe: Campari, Gin and Martini Rosso

What is the best gin for Negroni Cocktail?

There is no ‘right’ gin to use in a Negroni however, some are said to work best than others for most palates.

Personally, I like to use Tanqueray London Dry, which I find goes particularly well with the other ingredients.

What is the best vermouth for a classic Negroni?

For a traditional Negroni cocktail, the best vermouth to use is Martini Rosso, which is delicious and also easy to find abroad as well as in Italy or you can opt for vermouth Carpano, which is said to be the one originally used for this recipe.

When to serve Negroni? Is negroni an after dinner drink?

There is no hard rule about when to serve a Negroni cocktail however, due to the high alcoholic content of this drink, you usually have it served in a couple of situations:

In bars later at night, usually as the last order of the day.

As strong aperitivo, as a much stronger alternative to the more common spritz.

While in most instances you will have it as a cocktail after your dinner, the negroni is not an after-dinner drink like an amaro or a digestif but a stand-alone cocktail usually served with little bites to each to soften the alcoholic intake!

What do you serve with a Negroni cocktail

Negroni pairs particularly well with salty foods and bold flavors however, it is not unheard of to have it paired even with pizza!

Some foods that work well with a Negroni are:

  • Green olives
  • Focaccia
  • Pecorino or other salted cheese
  • Salami
  • Crostini with meat or vegetable pates

A quick history of the Negroni Coctkail

The Negroni Cocktail was born in Florence in 1919.

That year, an Italian aristocrat called Count Camillo Negroni is said to have asked his favorite barman a variation on the standard Americano cocktail: instead of Martini, Campari and Seltz, he wanted an extra kick and asked for the Seltz to be replaced by gin.

The classic Negroni was born and became an instant favorite in Florence and beyond.

Now, a Negroni cocktail is a little like carbonara: an institution not to be messed with!

Classic Negroni Alternatives

Negrini is a variation on Americano and itself has given birth to Negroni-inspired cocktails, some of which gained huge popularity, such as negorni sbagliato (Botched Negroni).

For Americano, you need:

  • 1/3 Campari
  • 1/3 Vermouth
  • 1/3 Tonic water

For Negroni Sbagliato, you need:

  • 1/3 Campari
  • 1/3 Vermouth
  • 1/3 Prosecco

italian negroni cocktail on table with olives

Classic Negroni recipe

Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

This classic Negroni recipe will show you how to make a Negroni cocktail according to Italian tradition. Made with only 3 ingredients, this cocktails is one of the most beloved in Italy and considered one of the Italian excellences abroad. Learn how to make it, how to serve it and its history.


  • Campari: 3 oz
  • Vermouth (Martini Rosso): 3 oz
  • Gin: 3 oz
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange peel to garnish


Place some ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass.

With the help of a cocktail jigger, pour 3 ounces of Campari, 3 of Martini Rosso and 3 of your favorite gin.

Garnish with orange peel or add a slice of orange to the rim of the glass. Serve immediately.

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Marta Correale is an Italian mama of two. Born and raised in Rome, Marta has a passion for travel and especially enjoys showing off Italy to her kids, who are growing up to love it as much as she does! A classics graduate, teacher of Italian as a second language and family travel blogger, Marta launched Mama Loves Italy as a way to inspire, support and help curious visitors to make the most of a trip to Italy and learn about Italian culture on the way.

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