Unusual Negroni: A Riff on a Classic (Gin, Aperol, Lillet Blanc)

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A Negroni is perfect the way it is. But if you’re looking for a breezy, summery riff on the classic cocktail that dials down the intensity a bit whilst still being plenty interesting, try the Unusual Negroni. Created for Hendricks Gin by Charlotte Voisey, it’s fun and beautiful and easy to sip.

Unusual Negroni Cocktail Recipe | Umami Girl 780-2

Why we love this recipe

Depending on the context, we are equally big fans of the Negroni, the Aperol Spritz, and many a cocktail made with Lillet blanc. The Unusual Negroni borrows a bit from each of those traditions and holds its own as a fun alternative, perfect for when the weather warms up.

Unusual Negroni ingredients

To make this drink, all you need is:

  • One part + London dry gin (this drink was literally made for Hendricks, but it works well with other, stronger-tasting London drys, too)
  • One part Aperol
  • One part Lillet blanc
  • Orange slice to garnish
collage of 8 steps to make an unusual negroni cocktail, adding ice, hendricks gin, aperol, and lillet blanc to a mixing glass, stirring, pouring, and garnishing with an orange slice

How to make the Unusual Negroni

Here’s all you need to do. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.

  • Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice.
  • Pour in the gin, Aperol, and Lillet blanc. The original recipe calls for equal parts but we prefer the balance when you add a little more than one part gin.
  • Stir well.
  • Serve on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass or up in a a cocktail glass, garnished with an orange slice.

Hendricks gin

We really, really love gin, so to be honest we don’t always reach for Hendricks. This Scottish product is a terrific gin, but it has a substantially milder flavor profile than many other London drys. Hendricks leads with cucumber and rose, and juniper takes a backseat. This makes it great for folks on the fence about gin and also for mixing with light ingredients like Aperol and Lillet blanc.


Aperol is a slightly sweet and fruity, gently bitter Italian apéritif made with oranges, rhubarb, herbs and some top-secret ingredients. It’s been around since 1919 and has a gorgeous orange color. “Aperol” comes “apero,” the French slang word for apéritif.

Lillet blanc

Lillet blanc is a French aperitif wine. It’s made from Bordeaux grapes, aromatized with herbs, spices, and citrus, and fortified (to 17% ABV — stronger than wine, but gentle for a cocktail ingredient) with macerated fruit liqueurs. It’s similar to vermouth in those respects. In fact, I once heard a NJ bartender refer to it as “French vermouth,” which might make any sense at all if a large portion of actual vermouth didn’t come from France.

Not too sweet, not too bitter, Lillet blanc is great on its own over ice, and it also makes an amenable cocktail ingredient.

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The Unusual Negroni

The Unusual Negroni is a breezy, summery riff on the Negroni. This drink was created for Hendricks gin (a mild-flavored gin) by Charlotte Voisey. It's also good with stronger-tasting London dry style gins.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serves 1


  • 1 ounce (or more) gin
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1 ounce Lillet blanc
  • Orange slice, to garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice.
  2. Pour in gin, Aperol, and Lillet blanc.
  3. Stir until well-mixed and well-chilled.
  4. Pour into a glass. You can serve this drink on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass or up in a cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and serve.

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Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 200

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