With bold colors of red and orange, the traditional Negroni is one of the most beautiful cocktails. Created in Florence, Italy around 1919, the Negroni cocktail was named after Count Camillo Negroni who wanted an Americano cocktail with a little more kick. The Americano recipe was modified by substituting gin for club soda, and lucky for all of us gin lovers, was the birth of the Negroni.
The recipe for the classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni is standardized and set by the International Bartenders Association (the IBA). As an official IBA cocktail recipe, the Negroni you order in Tokyo should taste exactly like the Negroni you would order in London. Basically, no matter where you order it, a Negroni is a Negroni, is a Negroni. Unless of course, you decide to substitute Mezcal for Gin!
The recipe for the Classic Negroni is simple, equal parts Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth served on the rocks, garnished with an orange peel.
However, for the Mezcal Negroni, I take some liberties. Tequila or Mezcal and Campari are excellent together. Both have a distinctive bite to them, and both have nuanced flavor profiles that unique. I reduce the amount of sweet vermouth in this cocktail and substitute just a whisper of freshly squeezed orange and lime juice to play off of the Campari’s slightly bitter flavor and to brighten the Mezcal.
Here is my Mezcal Negroni Cocktail recipe:
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2 Ounces Mezcal Tequila
- 2 Ounces Campari
- 1 Ounce Noilly Prat Rouge
- 1/2 Mandarin Orange Juice only
- 1/2 Lime Juice only
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake 40-50 times until ice cold.
- Serve in an old fashioned glass with a slice of orange or lime