Although the Negroni is world famous I so prefer using Aperol instead of Campari. A bit less herbaceous makes it perfect!
The first time I tasted Aperol, I thought it the “little sister” of Campari. Sweeter for sure, less vigorous herbaceous tones and about half the alcohol content but definitely related. They actually come from the same stable of brands and it’s suggested that anytime you see Campari called for, you can substitute Aperol. Both are technically classified as bitters or an aperitif, which is traditionally served before a meal to take the edge off.
I’m aware that some aficionados tout the complexity of a Negroni but I’ll tell you, all I can tout is that it’s not for me. A bit too bitter if you will. The Negroni can be an acquired taste that some people will love and others will not. I’ve been told to keep at it, that I will come to love it. I was told the same thing about beer decades ago and I still don’t like it so why would grimace through a taste I don’t enjoy so that I can acquire a fondness? Life is too short for that nonsense!
It is widely believed that the Negroni was created and named for Count Cammillo Negroni in the 1920’s when he ordered an Americano and requested the addition of gin at Cafe Casoni in Florence, Italy. The Americano; occasionally referred to as a neutered Negroni, dates back to at least 1861, when it was served at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, a meeting place over the years for a variety of celebrities, from Giuseppe Verdi to Ernest Hemingway.
Prohibition saw Americans flock to Italy for holidays where they could not only imbibe but because the extremely bitter Campari was classified as a medicinal product in the United States. Americans took the recipe home and legally indulged throughout Prohibition.
I love the Aperol Spritz, another Italian favorite and decided that I needed to try this cocktail using Campari’s baby sis. So glad I did; it is much more to my liking. I had a reader mention recently how terrific the Vya brand of vermouth is so was very lucky to have received samples from the owners. Vya Sweet Vermouth is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Orange Muscat, and is hand infused at Quady Winery with a selection of over seventeen herbs and spices.
They are worth sourcing in your area; the difference between what I’ve typically purchased and these lovely spirits is remarkable and absolutely worth the effort. For the Aperol Negroni in the photo, I paired the Aperol with sweet vermouth and Van Gogh gin and they were a great compliment to each other. The Aperol added a very nice but not at all cloying sweetness.
This drink is not only less bitter than a Negroni but the flavor of orange is more present. My friend was most eloquent upon tasting my new concoction; I do believe he uttered ‘awesome!’ Yes it was! If you’ve tried a Negroni and had any of the same response…give them another shot using Aperol; I’m betting you won’t be disappointed either.
PIN ‘Aperol Negroni Cocktail’
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz sweet vermouth (Vya)
- 1 oz gin (Van Gogh)
- Orange slice or twist
- Pour the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes and stir well.
- Garnish with the orange slice.
Amount Per Serving Calories 188