A White Negroni is a delightful French take on the classic Italian Negroni. The aromatic aperitifs Lillet and Suze are used in place of traditional Campari and Vermouth resulting in a cocktail that is lighter in both color and flavor. With both floral and earthy notes, it makes the most refreshing pre or post-dinner patio drink; perfect for warmer days!
Origins of the white negroni
The white negroni is a cocktail that was created by British bartender Wayne Collins in 2001. He endeavored to put a French spin on the classic negroni by keeping the gin but swapping the Campari and vermouth. He reached for two French ingredients that would work wondrously well in their place: Lillet; a wine-based aperitif and Suze; a bittersweet liqueur made from gentian root. The result is a delightful drink that is lighter in taste and color than its fiery red counterpart, yet still bitter and bracing (as it should be.) Since its introduction, the white negroni has become a modern classic and is a popular cocktail amongst negroni and happy hour enthusiasts alike.
Why you'll love a white negroni
A white negroni, which is actually bright yellow in color, is a refreshing and delightful take on the classic. It manages to maintain the characteristic bitterness that defines the original version while also being light and floral with a hint of sweetness.
We can't think of a more pleasant pre or post-dinner drink, especially on warmer weather days. There's just something about the sunny weather that makes us excited about sitting back and sipping, and this cocktail fits the bill. Enjoy one on a sun-drenched patio, by the pool or beach, or with friends around a table at happy hour.
Ingredients in a white negroni
Gin – a neutral, dry, well-balanced gin works well in this recipe.
Lillet (pronounced li-lay)- a lovely french aromatized fortified wine used in place of vermouth. It offers sweetness with notes of honey, citrus, and herbs.
Suze (pronounced suz)- this bittersweet french aperitif is used in place of Campari. It's made from gentian root and manages to be floral, citric, and earthy with just a hint of sweetness.
How to make a white negroni
Using equal parts of each ingredient, this recipe is easy to memorize. It comes together in just three simple steps:
- Start by adding ice to a cocktail mixer or glass jar.
- Pour in all the ingredients and stir.
- Strain over one large ice cube, garnish with a grapefruit zest twist, and enjoy!
Bigger ice is better
When serving cocktails, the bigger the ice the better. Larger ice cubes have more surface area which means they will melt slower and result in less water content in your drink. They also look fancy and are fun to make! Large square silicone ice cube trays are widely available. These Peak extra-large cubes are the ones that we use. Spherical mold trays are also fun and can be found here. They make stylish and elegant-looking ice balls that remove ice easily without cracking.
Stirred! After pouring all ingredients into a cocktail mixer or glass jar, stir for 30 seconds.
While we love this recipe as-is, you can make it a bit sweeter by changing the ratio to ½ ounce of Suze with 1 ½ ounces of Lillet.
Similar to a regular negroni, a white 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.
Lillet and Suze can be found in the spirits section of most well-stocked liquor stores.
Serve with simple appetizers
Popular negroni variation recipes
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- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce Lillet
- 1 ounce Suze
- 1 lemon or grapefruit zest twist
- Add a handful of ice to a cocktail mixing glass or a 2-cup mason jar.
- Add the ingredients and stir for 30 seconds.1 ounce gin, 1 ounce Lillet, 1 ounce Suze
- Strain the white negroni into a glass with a large ice cube and garnish with a lemon or grapefruit zest twist.