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Everything you need to know about Negroni

Everything you need to know about Negroni
Writer and expert4 months ago
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Undeniably one of the most famous aperitifs, the zeitgeist-defining Negroni is as beloved and ubiquitous as the Cosmopolitan was in the 90s. But what is a Negroni, and how did this slightly bitter, devilishly complex concoction - made from just three ingredients - become one of the most noteworthy cocktails of all time? Read on to discover everything you need to know about Negroni (plus learn some out-of-this-world, lip-smackingly good non-alcoholic Negroni recipes).

What is Negroni?

The sophisticated Negroni exudes coolness, chic simplicity, and a little bit of mystery, much like its origin. When it comes to the creation of the now modern classic, history tends to split itself in different directions towards two particular founding figures - Count Camillo Negroni, or General Pascal Olivier de Negroni de Cardi.

According to some cocktailians, the remarkable story of the Negroni began at Caffè Casoni in Florence, Italy, in 1919. According to legend, it’s at this intimate location that Count Camillo Negroni invented the drink by ordering an Americano with gin instead of soda water. The new variation became increasingly requested, so - as a result of its popularity - the Negroni family founded the Negroni distillery, which produced a ready-to-drink version called Antico Negroni 1919.

A counter-story to the above is that the cocktail was created in Senegal in the late 1800s by General Pascal Olivier de Negroni. According to the General’s descendants and preservation accounts in Senegal, a French Army captain shared the secrets of the Negroni throughout the city of Dakar. Some reports even suggest the cocktail was created to celebrate the marriage between the General and his beloved wife.

Despite its debatable origin story, one thing is for sure: the Negroni is a deliciously perfect, easy-to-make, all-season cocktail that whets the appetite and excites the palette.

During your Negroni adventures, some may ask, “is Negroni a man’s drink?”. A common question that likely emerged with James Bond’s uptake of the Negroni as one of his favourite drinks (when he wasn’t sipping down a Martini, of course). However, the Negroni is neither a man’s drink nor a woman’s drink; it’s an everyone drink. There’s something very cool and egalitarian about the Negroni that makes both men and women ooze elegance with complete simplicity.

The Negroni is made entirely of liquor; it’s a booze on booze kind of drink typically consisting of dry gin, sweet vermouth and bitters, then garnished with orange. As a result, the Negroni is not a weak drink, with an average alcohol content somewhere around 24% ABV (Alcohol By Volume). Thankfully, with Lyre’s impossible crafted non-alcoholic Negroni set and non-alcoholic Negroni recipes, you can skip the hangxiety and enjoy Negroni after Negroni in a booze-free bender that looks, tastes and sashays around the palate just like the original!

What does it taste like?

This classic aperitif-style cocktail may look like a charming, ruby-red, sweet Italian treat, but like a gate-crashing pack of weasels, it’s crafty, a little bitter, and full of surprises.

The Negroni, while simple to make with just three stirred ingredients, is devilishly complex, refreshing, and layered with bitter, zesty notes of grapefruit and juniper. Is it too bitter, you ask? Not at all. The sweet vermouth balances its classic bitter and herbal characteristics to create a delicious concoction that’s exactly bitter enough.

If you’re tired of cocktails that are too sweet or sour, Negroni delivers a whole new level of depth-of-flavour that adapts well to any time of year. The bright citrus flavours make a Negroni refreshing in summer, while the bitter, herbaceous notes warm you to your core in the cooler winter months.

How to enjoy Negroni?

If you’re wondering how to drink Negroni, you’ve come to the right place. The intricate combination of flavours in the Negroni makes it well suited for enjoying alongside snacks and appetisers as a pre-dinner or aperitif drink to start your evening off on the perfect note.

To make a Negroni, you need just a few easy-to-find ingredients, an old fashioned glass, some ice, and something to stir it all together. While some cocktails allow you to skip the ice as desired, the Negroni is best enjoyed with the ice included; the ice helps release the aromatic botanical fragrance while diluting the drink ever so slightly.

If you’re having more than one, make sure you eat plenty of snacks or make it a non-alcoholic Negroni. Our low and non-alcohol Negroni recipes mean you can enjoy your Negroni-bender and still make it to dinner. Happy days!

What is Negroni Week?

Over the years, the Negroni has gained recognition as one of the best cocktails in the world. As a result, there are now seven full days of celebration dedicated to it where participating venues give a portion of proceeds made from Negroni sales to charity. In a nutshell, Negroni week is all about raising your glass for a good cause!

When is Negroni Week?

September 16 to 22, 2024

How to enjoy a sober Negroni Week this year with Lyres

Celebrate Negroni Week 2022 alcohol-free with the finest range of non-alcoholic spirits the world has ever seen. Every Lyre’s spirit looks, tastes and sashays around the palate just like the original. And yet, the absence of giggle juice keeps you clear-headed and of good cheer to enjoy Negroni after Negroni all day, every day.

Best non-alcoholic Negroni Recipes

Lyre’s Negroni

The classic Negroni! Delicious, ruby-red, and a little bitter. Need we say more?

You’ll need:
  • 30ml Lyre’s Dry London Spirit
  • 30ml Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso
  • 30ml Lyre’s Italian Orange
  1. Stir ingredients briefly over fresh cubed ice
  2. Pour into an elegant, old-fashioned glass filled with fresh, large ice cubes.
  3. Garnish with a slice of orange. Libations!

Lyre's Dry London Spirit bottle, Lyre's Italian Orange bottle, Lyre's Aperitif Rosso bottle and the Negroni cocktail on the table.

Lyre’s Pink London Negroni

Pink London Spirit, Aperitif Rosso and Italian Spritz combine to produce an aria of flavour that sings with aromas of rosehip and wildberry in a symphony you’ll want to enjoy all night. Bellisimo!

You’ll need:
  • 45ml Lyre’s Pink London Spirit
  • 30ml Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso
  • 15ml Lyre’s Italian Spritz
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters (optional)
  1. Pour into an elegant, old-fashioned glass and stir briefly over a large block of ice
  2. Garnish with a zingy, lemon wheel

Aperitif Rosso bottle, Italian Spritz bottle, Pink London Negroni cocktail, and Pink London Spirit bottle on the table.

Lyre’s Rosa Negroni

Innovation is imperative, mio amico. Take a humble Negroni and give it a fragrant coastal twist for an inspired Rosa Negroni - an inspired choice for impressing associates!

You’ll need:
  • 45ml Lyre’s Italian Spritz
  • 15ml Lyre’s Dry London Spirit
  • 30ml Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso
  • 4 fresh raspberries
  1. Add ingredients into your favourite old fashioned glass, fill with ice and stir
  2. Garnish with a lemon wheel and aromatic rosemary sprig
Lyre's Dry London bottle, glass of Rosa Negroni cocktail, Lyre's Italian Spritz bottle, and Lyre's Aperitif Rosso bottle on the table

Lyre's Boulevardier

Take a Negroni, swap the gin for a generous splash of American Malt and you, my good sir, are ready for an evening saunter down this most bodacious of boulevards.

You’ll need:
  • 30mL Lyre’s American Malt
  • 30mL Lyre’s Apéritif Rosso
  • 30mL Lyre’s Italian Orange
  1. Stir briefly over fresh cubed ice
  2. Pour into an elegant, old-fashioned glass filled with fresh, large ice cubes.
  3. Garnish with orange slice


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