These five gins not only add something different to the classic negroni cocktail, they elevate it to new heights. Switch out your usual juniper juice for one of these masterpieces and see how your negroni transforms.
With cocktails, there’s a golden rule of three that most great drinks follow: spirit, sweet and bitter. Together these elements create balance, and the negroni – with it’s equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari – has that in spades.
But with so many gins around, there are myriad ways of changing the flavour, look and feel of this excellent cocktail.
Here are 5 of our favourites.
5 gins to mix up your negroni
We’ve chosen these five gins because they all offer something unique, but the basic negroni recipe is infinitely adjustable.
A different vermouth, more Campari, a splash of soda on top to create a spritz… your options are only limited by your imagination. And your bar stock!
Stone Pine Orange Blossom Gin
This remarkable Aussie gin from Stone Pine in Bathurst NSW is one of our favourites. Juniper forward but with a delicious floral background, this gin in a negroni is amazing. There’s even a slight savoury note at the end.
The distiller Ian Glen forages the orange blossoms from trees in the Western Plains near his distillery and includes native botanicals like pink finger limes and lemon myrtle to amp up the citrus.
Bombay Sapphire Sunset special edition gin
New to the Australian market, Bombay Sapphire’s Sunset gin is less grassy and a little spicier than the regular one.
In a negroni, this gin’s mandarin peel and white cardamon play really well with the Campari, and the mellow turmeric works with the red vermouth, all to create a delicious cocktail.
Hayman’s Sloe Gin
A true spirit of the English winter, making sloe gin is a labour of love. Sloe bushes have huge spikes to protect the little blue berries, but it’s worth the effort.
In a negroni, the sharp yet somehow sweet edge to Hayman’s classic dry gin adds a wonderful dimension.
If you want an excellent Aussie sloe gin, get yourself a bottle of Brookie’s here.
Prohibition Shiraz Barrel Gin
There’s barrel-aged gin and then there’s this stroke of genius. Prohibition have used ex-bourbon barrels that were then used for Barossa Shiraz to age their whopping 60%ABV gin.
It’s not only given the spirit a beautiful amber glow but also an earthy, fruity flavour. In a negroni, Shiraz Barrel Gin adds so many levels it’s almost a different drink, and the higher alcohol content changes the texture too.
Warner’s Rhubarb Gin
Husband-and-wife distillers Tom and Tina Warner from the Midlands in the UK were really the first to bring out a pink gin.
Their Rhubarb Gin shook the gin world to its foundations, especially because the colouring comes from the use of fresh rhubarb juice in the distilling process.
It gives the gin a sharp refreshing tang, and in a negroni you’ll find it elevates the herbaceous element of the Campari and pushes back against the vermouth well too.
Negronis are a lot of fun to play around with and it just shows how altering one element can change this drink so much.
In fact, swapping one ingredient out of this harmonious trio for something else is a neat trick to creating other cocktails completely.