A Negroni is a refreshingly bitter Italian lounge cocktail. It’s super low-stress to make (just 3 ingredients) and is perfect for the start of a cocktail or dinner party because it’s so easy to scale up. The Negroni is about as basic as a cocktail gets. The classic Negroni is gin + Campari + sweet vermouth combined in equal parts. This version uses dark rum instead of gin, which makes it less bitter.

negroni cocktail recipe overhead sourrounded by ice

A Love-Hate Relationship

I have to admit that for me, the Negroni was an acquired taste. If you love bitter, then you will probably find love at first sip. For me, it took a few more sips before I started to appreciate it like I do today.

A Negroni is a strong drink with nothing to water it down. Since I like to sip frequently, this can complicate things. Personally, I don’t mind adding a splash of tonic or soda water to dilute it just a bit to make the drink last longer or so I can have a few. (And by “don’t mind,” I really mean I prefer it that way.)

negroni cocktail recipe vertical side with campari bottle

A Few Negroni Tips

  • Use high-end rum or gin. Since there are only 3 ingredients in the cocktail, there’s nothing for cheap spirits to hide behind. You need to use the good stuff.
  • Shake it if you want to add more ice crystals to water it down slightly.
  • Mix in Prosecco or soda water/tonic to lighten it up.

Fun Fact: Campari has featured amazing art in their ads for a century, and I had some of their posters in high school. Later, I got to work at Campari’s advertising agency.

negroni cocktail recipe overhead

Riffs on the Classic Negroni

While the classic Negroni uses gin, there are countless variations to mix it up (including the rum version in this post)

The Americano – a lighter version.

1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
1.5 oz soda water

Negroni Sbagliato – subbing in Prosecco for the Gin.

1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
1.5 oz Prosecco

Or try a “Tegroni” with tequila instead of gin.

Equipment Used

negroni cocktail recipe side view

Rum Negroni

5 from 2 votes
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Course: Drink
Cuisine: Italian
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • large ice cube for serving
  • orange peel for garnish


  • Add the first 3 ingredients to mixing glass with plenty of ice, and stir until well chilled.
  • Pour through a strainer into a rocks glass with a large ice cube, then garnish with an orange peel. 

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