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Calling all coffee and negroni fans, this one's for you! We've taken our two favorite drinks and combined them into one delicious coffee negroni.
If you're looking for a twist on the classic negroni, this variation is wonderful. The slightly bitter flavor of coffee blends right into this drink like it was meant to be there all along.
This is a great cocktail to serve at a boozy brunch when you're looking for something a little stronger than the usual mimosa.
But it's also fantastic at a party when you want to serve an easy-to-make yet impressive cocktail. It's also very easy to make a big pitcher so you can share it with your friends.
And if you love bittersweet Italian cocktails as much as we do, also try this Aperol spritz recipe!
Espresso or coffee liquor?
We tested this recipe extensively with different amounts of both espresso and coffee liquor. (It's a tough job but someone has to do it!) Here's what we found:
Coffee liqueur – We used Kahlua in recipe testing and no matter how we made a coffee negroni using coffee liqueur, it always came out too sweet. We tried different amounts and even tried replacing the sweet vermouth with Kahlua, but the result was always the same. A negroni needs to be well-balanced, and using coffee liquor made an overly sweet negroni. The only bonus to using coffee liqueur was the color of the finished drink. It was a darker, almost black color, which we preferred.
Espresso – This was the clear winner from the beginning, but it took a few tests to get the balance just right. A full ounce of coffee made a delicious negroni with a strong coffee flavor, but the signature booziness of a negroni disappeared; it tasted like a light cocktail. In the end, a half-ounce of espresso per negroni was the perfect amount to give a wonderful coffee flavor and a well-balanced negroni.
What kind of coffee should I use?
The flavor of coffee can vary considerably so make sure to use coffee that you like to drink. If you don't have an espresso machine, simply brew a strong coffee.
How should I garnish my coffee negroni?
Orange is the classic negroni garnish – usually a wide strip of orange peel. Sometimes we'll garnish a negroni with a dehydrated orange wheel (like in our mezcal negroni) or even a simple orange wedge.
To take this espresso negroni to the next level, we use a lighter to scorch the strip of orange peel before dropping it into the glass. It adds a wonderful burnt orange smell that works really well with the coffee.
How can I make a big batch of coffee negroni for a party?
A negroni is the ultimate party drink as it's widely adored and can be made in a big batch. You'll need to mix one part of each liquor and half a part of espresso. For example:
1 cup Campari + 1 cup gin + 1 cup sweet vermouth + ½ cup espresso
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce gin
- ½ ounce espresso (or strong brewed coffee)
- A strip of orange peel, an orange wedge, or a dehydrated orange wheel (to garnish)
- Add a small handful of ice to a cocktail mixer or 2-cup mason jar.
- Add the Campari, sweet vermouth, gin, and espresso and mix with a long spoon for about 30 seconds.1 ounce Campari, 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ounce gin, ½ ounce espresso
- Strain the negroni into a rocks glass with a large ice cube and garnish with an orange peel, orange wedge, or dehydrated orange wheel.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.