The traditional Negroni is a very fine drink. You could go through life with only that version and have lived a fine life. Some make it better than others, no-one, in my humble experience, does it better than the Blue Fox — just an FYI.
But Matt Landes, the founder and CEO of Cocktail Academy, which he calls an “experiential cocktail catering company,” has a great variation, where he uses Salers, a classic French aperitif liqueur, instead of the expected Campari, and a white (clear) vermouth rather than the color version.
“After a long day of making other people drinks, I like to go home and enjoy something that’s simple to make but still deep in flavor. Lately, that drink for me is a White Negroni,” he says.
“It can be as strong as you’d like it to be. You can always change the ratios to make it more spirit-forward, sweeter, or bitter. I’m constantly playing with ratios at home for my friends and family.”
The White Negroni
It’s easy to make and it gets better as the ice continues to dilute the drink. It’s a true sipper.
Like its classic counterpart, White Negronis embrace a bold and bitter flavor profile, but enhanced by the refreshing complexity from the Gentian liqueur. It’s the perfect pre-dinner drink.
I cannot claim credit to any original cocktails, but I did notice that what people call a “White Negroni” usually has a Gentian liqueur called Suze as a Campari substitute. Suze is bright yellow in color and actually creates more of a golden or blonde Negroni as opposed to a true “White Negroni.” To truly achieve the “White Negroni,” swap Suze for Salers Gentian Aperitif. Unlike Suze, Salers Gentian is clear. After exchanging the Campari for Salers another swap was made using the lighter, colorless blanc vermouth Dolin de Chambery Blanc, as most bianco or blanc vermouths tend to carry a golden color.
Finding colorless ingredients to create the appearance of a truly white Negroni wasn’t the only inspiration to change them, but also to honor the Negroni’s main spirit, gin. The red color of Campari usually steals the show, but this recipe allows gin to truly be the star and will help people better identify it as a gin-based cocktail.
1.5 oz Whatever gin I’m/you’re feeling at the moment…
.75 oz Salers Gentian Liqueur
.75 oz Blanc Vermouth
One big rock of ice
Add ingredients to rocks glass and stir for 20 seconds.