Italian Cocktail Recipe

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Italian Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Italian cocktail, also known as the Negroni, was first created in Florence, Italy in the early 20th century. The story goes that Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by replacing the soda water with gin. The bartender also added an orange garnish to differentiate it from the original drink. The Negroni quickly gained popularity and became a classic Italian aperitif.

  • Origin: Florence, Italy
  • Created by: Count Camillo Negroni
  • Popular among: Aperitif lovers, gin enthusiasts

How Italian Tastes?

The Italian cocktail has a balanced taste, with a combination of bitter, sweet, and herbal flavors. It has a strong and bold character, with a smooth and slightly dry finish.

Interesting facts about Italian

  • The Negroni is often considered the quintessential Italian aperitif.
  • The cocktail has inspired numerous variations, such as the Negroni Sbagliato and the Boulevardier.
  • In 2019, the Negroni celebrated its 100th anniversary.


A few good options for Italian are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The gin, typically at 1oz, strikes a balance, ensuring the drink isn't overpowered by its juniper and floral notes. Too much gin could overpower the other flavors, while too little wouldn't stand up to the boldness of Campari and sweet vermouth. Without gin, you'd lose the botanical complexity that makes the backbone of the cocktail.

Emma Rose


Campari, also at 1oz, is the heart of bitterness and herbal complexity in this cocktail. Like a sassy friend, it keeps things lively! Skipping it would make the drink too mellow and lose its characteristic bite. No Campari, no party!

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet vermouth, used in 1oz, brings the sweetness and deepens the herbal notes to balance Campari's bitterness. It smoothens the edges much like a diplomat. Omitting sweet vermouth would result in an overly bitter and one-dimensional cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

Finally, that twist of an orange peel is the zesty finale. It adds just a whisper of citrus to kiss the top of your drink. Don't underestimate it; without the orange peel, the cocktail would lack the aromatic lift that completes the sensory experience.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Italian Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
  3. Stir until well chilled and diluted.
  4. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Express the orange peel over the drink and drop it in as a garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Gin: Use a high-quality gin for the best flavor.
  • Stirring: Stir the cocktail gently to avoid diluting it too much.
  • Orange Peel: Expressing the orange peel over the drink adds a burst of citrus flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie: The savory flavors of cured meats pair beautifully with the bitterness of the Campari and the herbal notes of the gin and vermouth.
  • Olives: Their brininess complements the herbal and bitter elements of the cocktail, creating a balance on the palate.
  • Prosciutto-wrapped melon: The sweetness of the melon and the saltiness of the prosciutto enhance the cocktail's complexity.

Main Courses

  • Margherita Pizza: The tomato-based sauce and mozzarella can cut through the cocktail's bitterness, offering a harmonious eating experience.
  • Eggplant Parmigiana: The richness of this dish is nicely countered by the refreshing aspects of the cocktail.


  • Dark Chocolate: Its bitterness can echo the bitter notes of the Campari and make for a decadent pairing.

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What you could change in Italian

  • Gin: You can substitute the gin with vodka for a less herbal flavor.
  • Campari: Aperol can be used as a less bitter alternative to Campari.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Dry vermouth can be used for a less sweet cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with I here

And of course - twists🍹

The Boulevardier

Switch the gin for bourbon to muddle up the classic with an American twist. It's deeper, it's darker, and the sweetness has a kick. Perfect for those who like to walk on the whisky side of life.

The Sbagliato

Replace gin with Prosecco. Now you've got a bubbling personality in your glass! Lighter, great for celebrations, or when you want your cocktail to say 'cheers' with a sparkle.

The Mediterranean

Infuse your gin with some rosemary or basil for a couple of days before mixing. This herby concoction is like taking a stroll through an Italian garden while whispering sweet nothingness into your glass!

In case you forgot basics how to make Italian

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Italian

Can you recommend any particularly good brands of gin, Campari, or sweet vermouth for making an Italian cocktail?

Some popular brands for gin include Hendrick's, Tanqueray, and Bombay Sapphire. For Campari, you could try the classic Campari brand, and popular sweet vermouth brands include Cinzano and Martini & Rossi.

Is there a specific type of orange I should use for the garnish?

While any type of orange would work, many bartenders prefer to use oranges with a thick and aromatic peel such as Seville or Valencia oranges.

Are there any other variations of this cocktail, aside from the Negroni Sbagliato and the Boulevardier?

Yes, there are many variations of the Negroni. For example, the White Negroni replaces Campari and sweet vermouth with Lillet Blanc and Suze, which are both French aperitifs.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

You can try substituting the gin with a non-alcoholic spirit (such as Seedlip Grove 42), use a non-alcoholic aperitif in place of Campari, and use a non-alcoholic sweet vermouth.

What's the best time to enjoy an Italian cocktail?

While there's no wrong time to enjoy a good cocktail, the Italian cocktail is traditionally consumed as an aperitif, which is before a meal to stimulate the appetite.

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