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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
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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.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

unusual negroni ingredients: hendricks gin, aperol, lillet blanc, and an orange slice
  • You’ll start with one part (or more, as I prefer it) London dry gin. This drink was literally made for Hendricks, but it works well with other, stronger-tasting London drys, too. 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 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.
  • Beyond that, all you need is an orange slice to garnish

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make an Unusual Negroni. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Pour in the gin. The original recipe calls for equal parts, but I prefer the balance when you add a little more than one part gin. It’s up to you.
  2. Add Aperol and Lillet blanc.
  3. Stir well, until very cold.
  4. Serve on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass or up in a a cocktail glass, garnished with an orange slice. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I batch this cocktail for a party?

You can. To make eight drinks, combine one cup gin, one cup Aperol, one cup Lillet blanc, and 1/2 cup water in a pitcher up to 24 hours before serving time. Stir, cover, and chill in the refrigerator. At serving time, divide among glasses and garnish each with an orange slice.

More favorite Negroni variations

an unusual negroni in a glass

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an unusual negroni in a glass
4.65 from 14 votes

The Unusual Negroni

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
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: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 ounce (30 ml) London dry gin (see note 1)
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) Aperol
  • 1 ounce, (30 ml) Lillet blanc
  • Orange slice, to garnish

Instructions 

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

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. The original recipe calls for equal parts, but I prefer the balance of this drink with a little more gin, up to 2:1:1. It's up to you!
  2. If you like, you can batch this cocktail for a party. To make eight drinks, combine one cup gin, one cup Aperol, one cup Lillet blanc, and 1/2 cup water in a pitcher up to 24 hours before serving time. Stir, cover, and chill in the refrigerator. At serving time, divide among glasses and garnish each with an orange slice.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.65 from 14 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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