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Lengthen your Negroni Love with this Negroni and Tonic

5 from 1 vote

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Negroni and Tonic in a wine glass garnished with a lemon wheel and lemon twist
Negroni and Tonic

Extend your enjoyment of the Negroni by using it as a base for a gin and tonic-like cocktail in this Negroni and Tonic. It’s an easy way to session your Negroni so you can enjoy drinking more of your favorite flavors in an afternoon. I’m even including a batched Negroni recipe so you can keep some mixed up and ready to go for a quick cocktail after work.

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What is a Negroni?

If you’re finding this article during Negroni Week you likely already know what one is. It’s a cocktail of equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. It’s very herbal, gin-forward, and bitter, all at once. And it’s something many people are head over heels for. 

First time Negroni drinkers might find the drink too bitter or too aggressive in flavor – it is a flavor-bomb with a large ratio of Campari. But as the drink dilutes and your palate adjusts, it reveals flavors and aromas that change with each sip.

For more about the history of the Negroni, head over to this great article on Difford’s Guide

What is Campari?

Negroni and Tonic in a wine glass garnished with a lemon wheel and lemon twist
Negroni and Tonic

Campari is a red Italian bittersweet spirit that’s an aperitif – meant to drink before meals to stimulate the appetite. It’s made with a secret infusion of botanicals (flowers, herbs, and roots) and has notes of citrus, cherry, and gentian. 

If you’d like a little more information about Campari, head over to my article on How to Infuse Campari.

How Do You Make a Negroni Taste Better?

While many people enjoy the Negroni in its classic form, there are many people who need to acclimate to the acquired bitter-forward taste of the boozy cocktail. One way to make a Negroni taste better is to turn it into a variation of the gin and tonic. 

Since the Negroni has a strong citrus component with the Campari and the gin, it’s a great base for a gin and tonic riff. The addition of the tonic water dilutes the bitterness from the Campari, sweetening it considerably. Although tonic water itself has a strong flavor of quinine, that bitterness pairs well with the bitterness and citrus of the Negroni.

If you’re not a fan of bitter cocktails, you might start this variation by trying plain soda water instead of tonic water and work up to the stronger flavors present in tonic. 

How to Make a Negroni and Tonic?

Negroni and Tonic in a wine glass garnished with a lemon wheel and lemon twist
Negroni and Tonic

Sometimes called a Negroni Fizz, this is one of my favorite ways to turn the boozy Negroni into a session cocktail you can drink over several hours. The Negroni tonic just calls for putting 1.5 oz of a pre-made Negroni into the bottom of an ice-filled wine glass. Top the cocktail with your favorite tonic water and you’ve got an easy and light cocktail to sip on. 

For garnish, I used a lemon twist and lemon wheel. 

Optional Add-Ins  and Variations to a Negroni and Tonic

I loved the cocktail with just the Negroni base, but I wanted a bit more finish to it so I added in ½ oz of a homemade black pepper syrup to the cocktail to provide a bit of spice in the finish.

Other suggested flavor combinations

  • Use strawberry-infused Campari* and top the Negroni with a Guava seltzer
  • Start with a rosemary-infused Campari* add a bit of lemon simple syrup and top with a citrus tonic
  • If you have coffee-infused Campari* (one of my favorite infusions) or coffee infused vermouth, use that and add a splash of pineapple simple syrup to the cocktail before you top with tonic.

* For more information on how to infuse Campari, head here.

How to Batch the Negroni

Spirit-forward cocktails like the Negroni are a snap to batch and keep in the fridge. To create a batch of 8 Negronis I add the following to an empty 750mL bottle:

  • 1 cup gin
  • 1 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1 cup Campari
  • ⅓ cup water

Keep the batch in the fridge (or freezer if you want it even colder) and pour out 3.5 oz over ice in a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon peel expressed over the top. 

Or you can use the batched Negroni itself as a cocktail base for variations on a highball, spritz, gin and tonic, etc. You can try anything you can imagine. 

Other Cocktails You Might Enjoy

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Recommended Bar Tools

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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:

Negroni and Tonic in a wine glass garnished with a lemon wheel and lemon twist

Negroni and Tonic (Negroni Fizz)

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Session your Negroni into a cocktail you drink for hours by turning it into a gin and tonic-style drink. In this case, the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth combine with a dry citrus tonic to make a brilliant and bittersweet cocktail that’s easy to make and sip with a little pre-batching of the ingredients. It’s a perfect after-work drink.
5 from 1 vote
Course Drinks
Cuisine Gin cocktail
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 oz pre-batched Negroni**
  • Or
  • ½ oz Campari
  • ½ oz gin
  • ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • 3-4 oz tonic water I used dry citrus tonic
  • Garnish: lemon peel/lemon wheel

Instructions
 

  • Add the pre-batched Negroni or the Negroni ingredients to the bottom of a wine or rocks glass. If you’re using individual ingredients, give them a quick stir to incorporate. Fill with ice and top with your favorite tonic water. Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

Notes

** How to make a pre-batched Negroni
  • 1 cup gin
  • 1 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1 cup Campari
  • ⅓ cup water
Keep the batch in the fridge (or freezer if you want it even colder) and pour out 3.5 oz over ice in a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon peel expressed over the top.
Keyword campari, gin, negroni, sweet vermouth
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on September 17th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location

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