Nankai Negroni (Neguroni ネグローニ）
- 1 oz Nankai Shochu
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 oz Campari Can also use Capelletti Apertivo Americano
- 1 Orange Peel
- Combine Nankai, vermouth, and Campari in a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir to chill.
- Strain into glass with large ice cube.
- Garnish with expressed orange peel.
The Nankai Negroni, or the Neguroni (ネグローニ), is a simple variation on the classic and incredibly popular Italian aperitif cocktail. A decade ago, it was an insider’s drink– a head nod to the bartender. While it does retain status as a present day bartender’s handshake, these days, almost every beverage program at restaurant or bar will have a negroni or something similar on its menu. Its rise began in 2013 with the Campari-sponsored promotion Negroni Week. However, the negroni truly blew up in popularity in 2020 during the pandemic, partly thanks to Stanley Tucci making one on Instagram.
By most accounts, Count Camillo Negroni invented the Negroni in 1919. He’d asked a bartender friend in Florence, Italy, to make an Americano but with gin instead of soda. The Count apparently wanted something stronger. The bartender complied but also swapped the lemon peel garnish with an orange peel, giving birth to the classic cocktail.
The original recipe calls for equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, garnished with an orange peel. The simplicity of the recipe is part of its charm. Its bitterness is an acquired taste, as if it’s a test for grown-ups or bar insiders. Jason Yu had once admitted as much to me.
The Nankai Negroni, or Neguroni (ネグローニ) if we’re going by the Japanese Romanized name, is also simple, replacing gin with Nankai Shochu. While it does lower the ABV slightly, it also smooths out the edges with fruity accents to balance the bitter. Another added benefit of the Nankai Negroni is that you can serve it at a beer or wine-licensed venue in California or New York if you replace Campari with Capeletti.
More Nankai Aperitif Cocktails
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