If a traditional Negroni is taking to you bitter town way too fast, we have a solution: the Aperol Negroni! It's the exact same drink, but you swap the bitter Campari for the slightly sweeter Aperol. It's bright, citrusy and absolutely delicious.
This drink is perfect any time of year - before or after dinner. It's also really easy to make, and a total crowd pleaser.
If you're just getting into the world of stronger cocktails, I'd say this would be a good transition one for you. It's boozy, but definitely on the sweeter side than a traditional Negroni.
Create an exquisite Aperol Negroni—a perfect blend of Aperol, gin, and vermouth for a sophisticated cocktail experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
An Aperol Negroni is a variation of the classic Negroni cocktail, made by substituting the Campari with Aperol. It brings a slightly sweeter and less bitter flavor profile.
To make an Aperol Negroni, you'll need equal parts Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin. It is typically garnished with an orange peel.
Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 ounce each of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin. Stir gently, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel twist.
An Aperol Negroni has a bittersweet and citrusy flavor. It is slightly less bitter compared to a classic Negroni, with the Aperol adding a distinct orange zest note.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Perfect Balance: The combination of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin creates a harmonious balance of flavors. It's not too bitter or too sweet, hitting that sweet spot of perfection.
Aperol's Citrusy Twist: Aperol brings a delightful burst of citrusy goodness to the cocktail, adding a refreshing and vibrant touch that tantalizes the taste buds.
Gorgeous Presentation: The Aperol Negroni's vibrant orange color and the elegant orange peel garnish make it a visually stunning drink that's sure to impress your guests.
What is An Aperol Negroni?
An Aperol Negroni is a variation of the classic Negroni cocktail that substitutes Aperol for Campari, providing a slightly sweeter and less bitter flavor profile. It retains the signature equal parts combination of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin, garnished with an orange peel.
The Negroni itself has a rich history. It was created in Florence, Italy, in the early 20th century. The story goes that Count Camillo Negroni, a frequent patron of Caffè Casoni, requested a stronger version of his favorite cocktail, the Americano. The bartender, Fosco Scarselli, replaced the soda water with gin and added an orange garnish. The result was the Negroni, a sophisticated and bittersweet concoction that quickly gained popularity.
The Negroni's popularity continued to grow over the years, becoming an iconic Italian cocktail. Its simplicity and distinctive flavor profile made it a beloved classic. Today, the Negroni is celebrated worldwide, and variations like the Aperol Negroni provide exciting twists on the original recipe while paying homage to its timeless appeal.
So, whether you choose the classic Negroni or opt for an Aperol Negroni, you're indulging in a piece of cocktail history that originated in the heart of Italy.
Campari vs. Aperol
Aperol and Campari are both Italian aperitifs, but they have some distinct differences that set them apart:
- Flavor Profile: Aperol is known for its light and refreshing flavor profile. It offers a subtle bitterness with prominent notes of sweet oranges and herbs. On the other hand, Campari is more intense and bitter, with a complex flavor profile featuring hints of herbs, spices, and fruit.
- Alcohol Content: Aperol has a lower alcohol content, typically around 11%, making it lighter and more suitable for daytime sipping or when you prefer a less potent drink. Campari, on the other hand, has a higher alcohol content, usually around 24%.
- Color: Aperol has a vibrant orange hue, while Campari has a deeper, reddish color. The difference in color is also reflected in their respective cocktails, with Aperol bringing a brighter and more citrusy touch, and Campari adding a richer and bolder element.
- Versatility: Aperol is often used in lighter, refreshing cocktails like the Aperol Spritz or the Aperol Negroni, where its delicate flavor shines through. Campari, with its stronger bitterness, is a key ingredient in classic cocktails such as the Negroni or the Boulevardier, adding a robust and distinctive character to these drinks.
This list is short and sweet - one of my favorite parts of classic cocktails.
Aperol: Aperol is a vibrant Italian aperitif with a bitter-sweet flavor profile. Its distinctive taste, characterized by gentle bitterness and citrusy notes, adds a refreshing and zesty twist to the cocktail.
Sweet Vermouth: Sweet vermouth is a fortified wine infused with botanicals, herbs, and spices. It brings a rich, sweet, and aromatic element to the drink, complementing the bitterness of Aperol and providing a balanced and complex flavor.
Gin: Gin, a spirit distilled from juniper berries and various botanicals, adds depth and complexity to the Aperol Negroni. Its herbal and botanical notes mingle with the other ingredients, creating a harmonious blend.
Orange Peel: The orange peel garnish serves both as a visual element and a flavor enhancer. When twisted over the cocktail, it releases essential oils that contribute a fresh and citrusy aroma, elevating the overall drinking experience.
How to Make an Aperol Negroni
This drink is also incredibly simple to make. Basically, stir the ingredients together with ice and go. But if you want more detailed instruction, keep reading.
Grab your ingredients: Aperol, sweet vermouth, gin, and an orange.
Now, let's get started. Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour in equal parts Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin. We're talking a harmonious blend of bitter-sweet goodness.
Gently stir everything together. Feel free to channel your inner mixologist and show off your stirring skills. You want that glorious blend to be chilled to perfection.
Next, grab your favorite rocks glass and fill it with fresh ice. Strain the mixture from the shaker into the glass, letting it cascade over the ice.
Now, it's time for the finishing touch. Take a gorgeous orange, give it a gentle twist, and let the oils from the peel release their enticing aroma. You can also rub the outside of the peel over the rim of the glass for even more fragrance. Garnish your Aperol Negroni with that twisted orange peel. Voilà! Your drink is now complete and looking absolutely Instagram-worthy.
Aperol Sour: For a tangy twist, try an Aperol Sour. Simply combine Aperol, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a dash of egg white. Shake it up with ice, strain, and serve in a chilled glass. It's a refreshing and citrusy take on the classic.
Aperol Sbagliato: The Aperol Sbagliato is a delightful bubbly variation. Swap the gin for prosecco, and you've got yourself a sparkling treat. Just mix equal parts Aperol, sweet vermouth, and prosecco over ice. Garnish with an orange twist, and enjoy the effervescent elegance.
Aperol Boulevardier: For a richer and slightly boozier spin, try the Aperol Boulevardier. Replace the gin with bourbon, keeping the equal parts ratio of Aperol and sweet vermouth. Stir it up, strain over ice, and garnish with an orange peel. Sip slowly and embrace the warmth of the bourbon.
Aperol Spritz Tequila Twist: Give your Aperol Spritz a tequila makeover. Mix Aperol, dry vermouth, and tequila, then top it off with some sparkling water. Serve over ice, garnish with an orange slice, and enjoy the vibrant flavors with a tequila kick.
Aperol Martini: If you're in the mood for a vodka-based variation, the Aperol Martini is for you. Combine Aperol, vodka, and dry vermouth in a mixing glass with ice. Stir gently, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a twist of orange peel. It's a sophisticated and slightly bitter cocktail with a vodka twist.
Batching and Making Ahead
You can absolutely make this drink ahead of time, and for a crowd. Once everyone arrives, all you need to do is pour and go!
Here's what you need to do:
- Calculate the desired number of servings for your batch and multiply the ingredients accordingly. For example, if you want to make a batch of 8 servings, multiply each ingredient by 8.
- Combine the multiplied amounts of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin in a large container or pitcher.
- Stir the mixture gently to ensure it's well combined. Be careful not to introduce too much air into the mixture.
- Transfer the batched Aperol Negroni into a sealable container or bottle, and refrigerate it until you're ready to serve.
- When it's time to enjoy your Aperol Negroni, give the batched mixture a good stir to reincorporate any settled ingredients.
- Fill rocks glasses with fresh ice, and pour the pre-mixed Aperol Negroni over the ice.
- Garnish each glass with a twist of orange peel for that final touch of elegance.
Pro Tips and Tricks
This may be a simple drink, but there are plenty of ways to take it from good to gourmet. Here are a few tips:
Chill your glass: Before pouring your Aperol Negroni, make sure your glass is chilled. You can place it in the freezer for a few minutes or fill it with ice and cold water while you prepare the drink. A chilled glass helps keep your cocktail cool and refreshing.
Experiment with garnishes: While an orange peel garnish is classic, feel free to get creative with your garnishes. Try adding a twist of grapefruit peel, a sprig of fresh rosemary, or even a few edible flowers for an extra touch of elegance.
Play with ice: Ice is more than just a cooling element; it can also enhance the overall drinking experience. Consider using large ice cubes or ice spheres instead of regular-sized cubes to slow down the dilution of your Aperol Negroni, keeping it perfectly balanced for longer.
Adjust the ratios: The standard Aperol Negroni recipe calls for equal parts of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and gin. However, don't be afraid to experiment and adjust the ratios based on your personal taste preferences. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can slightly increase the amount of Aperol or sweet vermouth.
Infuse your vermouth: Get creative by infusing your sweet vermouth with different flavors. Add herbs, spices, or even fresh fruits to the vermouth and let it sit for a few days to infuse the flavors. This simple step can elevate the taste and add a unique twist to your Aperol Negroni.
Try different gins: The choice of gin can greatly impact the flavor of your Aperol Negroni. Experiment with different types of gin, such as London Dry, American, or even barrel-aged gins, to discover new flavor profiles that complement the Aperol and vermouth beautifully.
Other Awesome Cocktails
- Cocktail mixer or shaker
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz gin
- orange peel for garnish
- Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the sweet vermouth, Aperol, and gin to the glass.
- Stir gently until well chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
- Customize Your Bitterness: Adjust the intensity of your Aperol Negroni by experimenting with different ratios of Aperol and sweet vermouth. If you prefer a milder bitterness, add a touch more sweet vermouth. For a stronger bitter kick, increase the amount of Aperol.
- Garnish with Style: While an orange peel is a classic garnish, feel free to get creative with your garnishes. Try adding a twist of grapefruit peel or a sprig of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for an added aromatic touch.
Hi, I'm Cara! I'm a food writer, journalist, and recipe developer. I'm obsessed good food, good wine, good cocktails and entertaining. I've picked up a few tips over the years, and love sharing them with others.