When it comes to ordering cocktails, Americans love to have a different take on some classics. The mezcal negroni is a modern take on the traditional negroni recipe, which can be slightly bitter.
With an agave spirit instead of gin, the mezcal really amps up the flavor. However, the smoky and earthy sweetness the agave brings can handle the bolder spirits like the bitter-tasting Campari, making it a boldly modern take on the original negroni.
About the Mezcal Negroni
The traditional negroni cocktail has been riffed upon endlessly and is not only a classic cocktail but has been enjoyed by greats like James Bond and Orson Welles. In fact, the original recipe for the negroni is nothing to shake a finger at—for many, it’s simply too bitter to be their go-to cocktail.
However, that’s where the mezcal takes center stage—it balances out that herbal bitterness and allows the sweet vermouth and citrus to shine right through.
History of the Traditional Negroni
The romantic history of the negroni hearkens back to the beginning of the 20th century when the Italian Count Camillo Negroni was in Florence at Bar Casoni.
He requested a stiffer cocktail than the usual Americano he preferred: a mix of Campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling water. The bartender replaced the water with gin, and the traditional negroni was born!
Mezcal Negroni Cocktail
While it may be the tradition in Mexico to drink mezcal straight up, this spirit lends its earthy and smoky flavor to many different cocktails, making it highly versatile.
- 1 oz mezcal
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz Campari
- Garnish with an orange wheel
- Gather your ingredients, a rocks glass, and a mixing glass with ice
- Combine the mezcal, sweet vermouth, and Campari to the glass
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass with one or two ice cubes
- Garnish the drink with an orange wheel
- Serve immediately
This striking red and orange cocktail is not only beautiful in color but has a smoky sweetness unrivaled by the traditional negroni, which some find too bitter. However, the mezcal, made from the agave plant, is what makes this cocktail shine.
If you like the mezcal negroni, you might also enjoy the white negroni for a change!
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