By replacing Campari with Aperol, this Aperol Negroni takes on a delightfully bittersweet and orange-forward flavor that all cocktail lovers will enjoy.
A Negroni is one of the best Campari cocktails you can treat yourself to! Bitter in the best way, it’s a classic Italian cocktail made with only three ingredients: Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.
And while bitterness is a signature quality in a Negroni, it can sometimes be an acquired taste. The solution? Swap the Campari for its sweeter, less bitter cousin, Aperol.
This Aperol Negroni recipe does just that. This simple substitution gives it a bittersweet and brighter flavor without losing any balance. You’ll love it if you’re new to the Negroni or when you want to sip on a delightful and classy cocktail.
What is Aperol?
Aperol is a bittersweet aperitif from Italy. Its light orange color hints at its light and refreshing flavor and low alcohol content. Aperol is also a popular ingredient in many delicious cocktails, including the Aperol Spritz, Paper Plane Cocktail, and Aperol Sour.
Campari vs. Aperol
While both Campari and Aperol are low-alcohol aperitifs that can be used to make a Negroni, they come with a long list of differences (learn all about them in my guide on Campari vs. Aperol!):
- Campari is the Italian aperitif used in the traditional Negroni recipe. It gets its strong bitter flavor from its secret ingredients list made up of citrus peels, roots, herbs, and flowers.
- Aperol is a sweeter, less bitter alternative to Campari. It’s still an Italian red aperitif but comes with a lower ABV (11%) and a sweet, botanical, and orange flavor.
Just like a classic Negroni, you only 3 ingredients to make this cocktail:
- Gin – As Liquor.com suggests, choose a high-proof gin if you like a botanical, herbaceous cocktail, or opt for a low-proof gin if you want the citrusy Aperol to shine through.
- Aperol – The star of the show and a friendly, easy-to-love alternative to Campari.
- Sweet vermouth – This adds another layer of sweetness and botanicals, making it crucial for achieving the right balance. Don’t substitute it for dry vermouth.
Build the Negroni with Aperol over fresh ice and don’t forget the orange peel for garnish!
How to make an Aperol Negroni
Pour the gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until the outside of the glass feels chilled.
Strain the Negroni into a rocks glass with ice (or 1 large ice cube). Garnish with an orange peel, and enjoy!
- Mixing glass – The Negroni is stirred and never shaken, which is why it’s made in a mixing glass and not a cocktail shaker. Shaking it could potentially lead to the drink tasting completely different, as well as running the risk of watering it down.
- Bar spoon – The long handle on a bar spoon makes stirring and diluting the cocktail a breeze!
- Strainer – A Hawthorne strainer is best but any fine mesh strainer will do.
- Rocks glass – For serving.
Unlike a bitter and strongly flavored classic Negroni with Campari, the Aperol Negroni is sweeter, brighter, and citrusy. It’s still well-balanced and maintains the signature bitterness of the traditional drink but is much more approachable for newcomers.
Aperol has grown in popularity with the rise of the Aperol Spritz. This means it should be easy to find in most liquor stores.
You can use any red bitter Italian aperitif instead. Check out this list of 13 alternatives for Aperol by Tasting Table if you need ideas.
You can, but the cocktail won’t taste as botanical or nuanced without the gin.
More Aperol cocktails
- Grapefruit Spritz Cocktail
- Paper Plane Cocktail
- Winter Aperol Spritz
- Aperol Sour
- More → 25+ BEST Aperol Cocktails
More classic cocktail recipes
Did you try this Negroni with Aperol?
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Aperol Negroni Recipe
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- Orange peel
- Add the gin, Aperol and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until well-chilled.
- Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
- Garnish with an orange peel. Enjoy!