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An Aperol Negroni is the lighter, sweeter, and friendlier little sister of the classic Negroni. It's made with Aperol instead of Campari, which is less bitter and more approachable. A Negroni with Aperol is a delicious treat!
This unique spin on the Negroni creates a cocktail that tastes a little different, but every bit as delicious, as the classic recipe. If you've ever wondered if you can substitute Aperol for Campari in a Negroni, the answer is yes.
A Negroni with Aperol is much lighter than the original version. Some might say that it is a beginner's Negroni or even an afternoon Negroni. We like that the orange flavor of Aperol stands out in this version.
Sitting about halfway between an Aperol spritz and a classic Negroni, this cocktail is delicious enough to whip up even when you have a bottle of Campari in your bar.
If you love Aperol, make sure to try our Aperol spritz!
What is Aperol
Aperol is an Italian aperitif with a beautiful bright orange color and a sweet orange flavor. The recipe for Aperol hasn't changed since its birth, but the exact ingredients are still a secret. The company has disclosed that it is made with rhubarb, bitter and sweet oranges, and different herbs and roots.
It's most commonly used in an Aperol spritz, but it's also delicious in this Negroni.
Campari vs Aperol
While Campari and Aperol are both aperitifs, the two taste quite different. Aperol is a lot less bitter and has less vigorous herbaceous undertones. And while Aperol and Campari are made with the same amount of sugar, because Aperol is less bitter it tastes a lot sweeter.
Also, Aperol also has only half the alcohol content than Campari so it is much lighter tasting.
The color of Aperol is bright orange, while Campari is dark red.
Ingredients in an Aperol Negroni
Unlike the classic recipe, this Aperol Negroni is made with four ingredients:
Aperol – the namesake liquor.
Sweet vermouth – This is a fortified wine that is infused with different botanicals. Different brands will taste different, but even an inexpensive bottle will make a tasty Aperol Negroni.
Dry Vermouth – This is also a fortified wine that is sometimes known as white vermouth and has low sugar content.
Gin – We don't recommend switching gin for another alcohol as the lighter flavor of Aperol goes best with a lighter flavored spirit.
Why use sweet and dry vermouth?
In recipe testing, we tried three versions of this negroni. One with sweet vermouth, one with dry vermouth, and one with both. The unanimous winner was the version using both. Using only sweet vermouth created an overly sweet and unbalanced Negroni. In the dry vermouth version, the flavor of the vermouth was too prominent.
Using a mix of sweet and dry vermouth created an Aperol Negroni that was well balanced and had great flavor.
Aperol Negroni FAQs
Should a negroni be shaken or stirred?
Stirred! After adding the ingredients over a small amount of ice in a cocktail mixer, stir it for about 30 seconds.
Does negroni have aperol?
No, normally a Negroni is made with Campari. But in this version, we use Aperol which makes a lighter, sweeter cocktail.
Can I make an Aperol Negroni ahead of time?
Yes! Like a regular Negroni, an Aperol Negroni can easily be made ahead of time or the leftovers can be stored for later. After mixing your cocktail, strain it into a container with no ice and store it in your fridge.
When to serve an Aperol Negroni
Aperol, like Campari, is classified as bitters or an aperitif, which is a type of alcohol that's meant to be enjoyed before a meal. But it doesn't need to be nearly dinner time to savor the complex flavors of a negroni.
Since an Aperol negroni is less strong and bitter than a classic negroni, it makes a wonderful cocktail for many occasions.
- Sitting on a patio on a sunny afternoon.
- An apres ski or snowboard drink.
- Curled up by the fire reading a book.
- An easy drink with friends.
There are no wrong choices here. Once you try a Negroni with Aperol, you'll find all sorts of good excuses to make one.
Popular negroni variation recipes
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1 ounce gin
- ½ ounce sweet vermouth
- ½ ounce dry vermouth
- Orange slice or peel (to garnish)
- Place a few ice cubes into a cocktail mixer or glass jar and pour the Aperol, gin, sweet vermouth, and dry vermouth over the top.1 ounce Aperol, 1 ounce gin, ½ ounce sweet vermouth, ½ ounce dry vermouth
- Stir for 30 seconds and then strain into a low ball glass.
- Garnish with a slice of orange or an orange peel
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our negroni variations!