The Negroni, a cocktail that brings together spirit, bitter aperitif, and sweet vermouth in a knife’s-edge balance, is a modern essential. The classic (with gin and Campari) may have been the Negroni’s first expression, but it certainly isn’t the last. For Negroni Week 2017, June 1 to June 7—a collaboration by Imbibe magazine and Campari that seeks to raise money for charities as it stretches the nation’s creativity—we offer a handful of variations to geek out on, after a quick refresher on the original.
1. Unusual Negroni
Kick up a classic with the addition of Aperol and citrusy Lillet Blanc. Rather than shaking and stirring, this one's "thrown" in a Cirque du Soileil-esque action of straining the drink from high above, repetitively, until it's mixed and ready to serve.
2. Blood Orange Negroni
For a sweeter take, add a splash of blood orange that is equal parts delicious and beautiful. Serve with a slice to make any tablescape reach Ina Garten level status. Get the recipe.
3. Pomelo Grapefruit Negroni
Blood orange brings the sweet, but grapefruit brings the bitter. Now you have a cocktail for every mood. How happy is that happy hour now? Get the recipe.
4. Original Negroni
Did Camillo Negroni, a flamboyant count and famous drinker, first ask for a splash of gin be added to his Americano cocktail back in 1920s Florence. Maybe, though others say the Negroni is more a natural evolution of the Americano. Get our Negroni recipe.
5. Cynar Negroni
When substituted for Campari, Cynar, an amaro that prominently contains artichoke, adds a deeper and more savory level of bitterness to the Negroni. It deepens the color, too. Get our Cynar Negroni recipe.
6. Aperol Negroni
The Italian aperitivo Aperol stands in for Campari in a twist on the original Negroni. Aperol is made along the same lines as Campari, but it’s less bitter, milder, and contains less alcohol. Get our Aperol Negroni recipe.
7. Prosecco Negroni
Swapping the Northern Italian sparkling wine Prosecco for the gin in a classic Negroni yields something closer in spirit to the original Americano, a gentler, fizzier aperitif. It’s a natural prelude for a range of festive occasions, from wedding dinners to date night. Get our Prosecco Negroni recipe.
8. Scotch Negroni
Blended Scotch, Cynar, and a dash of grapefruit bitters provide carefully articulated depths to the classic Negroni. We adapted ours from a recipe by Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy in Food & Wine magazine. Get our Scotch Negroni recipe.
9. Tequila Negroni
Tequila blanco stands in for gin in a version of the Negroni that expresses global solidarity. The grassy, vegetal taste of agave gives this version a subtle freshness. Get our Tequila Negroni recipe.
10. Slushy Negroni
Sometimes classic needs to kick back and have fun. To the textbook Negroni, we factored in a blender, ice cubes, and a bit of simple syrup to yield something to hang out with around the pool. Get our Slushy Negroni recipe.
11. Summer Streets Negroni
The Penrose bar in New York City developed this recipe, full of citrus brightness and a touch of honey sweetness. A splash of soda and a basil leaf finish it off in true summer style. Get the Summer Streets Negroni recipe.
12. Forquilha Negroni
Forquilha in São Paulo, Brazil, came up with this beautifully classic recipe for Negroni Week 2015. It calls for Carpano Antica vermouth and a dash of orange bitters. Get the Forquilha Negroni recipe.