Cocktail College: Turn into the main character with this Negroni recipe

Photo of Negroni cocktail
Mario Bonifacio/Creative Commons

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This recipe is for readers over the age of 21 only.

Negronis — have you heard of ‘em? If you haven’t yet, a) I am sorry and b) I am also glad because that means you have a reason to keep reading. If this is your first time hearing the word “Negroni,” you’ve been missing out, but don’t fret, because I’m here to rescue you with some hard-hitting journalism on the matter. 

You see, all the cool people love Negronis — Italians, Anthony Bourdain, me. I love this drink mainly because it’s tasty, but also because there’s something so quaint about it (I’m an English major, so these things are important to me). One sip of a Negroni and you could be on some little cobblestone street in Italy, acting unfortunately similar to that kid in your dorm who won’t stop explaining to you how much studying abroad changed their life. Sure, you’ll be acting like the main character, but admittedly, acting like the main character is fun — and a Negroni is definitively a main character drink. And everyone needs a main character drink, whether they choose to admit it or not.

This recipe makes two servings, but you’ll notice it’s made in a 1:1 ratio, so feel free to scale up or down accordingly. 


  • 2 ounces Campari  (for the love of everything and everyone, please don’t substitute Aperol)
  • 2 ounces sweet vermouth 
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 orange peels


  1. Using a knife, peel the skin of an orange until you have four pieces. 
  2. Fill two old-fashioned glasses or tumbler-style liquor glasses full of ice. Using 2 of the orange peels, squeeze orange oils onto the ice and place in glass. Set aside, reserving remaining peels. With a mixing glass or the bottom half of a cocktail shaker, combine the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth. A Negroni is composed entirely of liquor, so there’s no need to shake this drink in a cocktail shaker. It’s important to note that using sweet vermouth is of utmost importance because dry vermouth would make this cocktail a Cardinale and disqualify it from being a proper Negroni. 
  3. Give your liquor mixture a nice stir. I mean, a really nice stir. 
  4. Once finished, pour over into ice-filled glasses. Stir around again to incorporate the liquor, ice, and orange peel altogether. Garnish with reserved orange peels, squeezing again to release oils around the rim of the glass. Enjoy! 

You now know how to make a Negroni. So here’s your permission to act like a typical liberal arts student: Go wear some overpriced sunglasses, put on an old Italian record, make this drink and sip it somewhere nice. And soon enough, once the bars open back up, you’ll find yourself saying, “No, I’m not like other girls … I’ll take a Negroni.”

Contact Hanna Lykke at [email protected].