Italienske cocktails

ITALIAN-INSPIRED COCKTAILS

There’s nothing like a sip of pleasantly bitter Campari or a lemony, palate-cleansing sgroppino before an Italian meal. From old standbys like negronis to new twists on Italian classics, we’ve rounded up our favorite Italian-inspired cocktail recipes.

When it comes to Italian cocktails, it doesn’t get much more classic than the negroni. The drink, first created for Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 at Florence’s Café Casoni, is simply a mixture of equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. The resulting drink is bitter, a little sweet, and a stunning shade of pink.

From this simple base can come a universe of variations. Swapping out the gin for sparkling wine, which first happened at Bar Basso in Milan in 1968, create a negroni sbaliagto, or “bungled negroni.” To make a Boulevardier, the gin is replaced with bourbon.

Further modification of the negroni template produces even more drinks. The Contessa the Campari and sweet vermouth for Aperol and dry vermouth, while the amber negroni replaces those ingredients with Braulioa and Lillet.

If you want something refreshing, try sgroppino—a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco that is common in Italy as a palate cleanser, a dessert, or a pre-dinner drink. Whisking the ingredients together creates a chilly, frothy libation.

NEGRONI 59,-

This classic cocktail couldn’t be simpler—it’s simply even parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
Ingalls Photography
Luca Picchi of Rivoire in Florence, Italy, sticks to tradition when making this superlative cocktail. The classic was first created for Count Camillo Negroni in 1919 at Florence’s Café Casoni. The bartender who supposedly invented the drink, a man named Fosco Scarselli, later sent a letter to the count advising him not to imbibe more than 20 of the cocktails per day.

AMERICANO 59,-

The 19th-century Italian cocktail the Milano-Torino consisted of bitter Campari and Martini sweet vermouth. It is said that American travelers preferred their apéritifs with soda water, so the Milano-Torino with soda became known as the Americano.
Ingalls Photography
The 19th-century Italian cocktail the Milano-Torino consisted of bitter Campari and Martini sweet vermouth. It is said that American travelers preferred their apéritifs with soda water, so the Milano-Torino with soda became known as the Americano.
Senza Nome

CONTESSA 59,-

The Contessa, a modern creation of John Gertsen, a bartender at Boston’s Drink, replaces two of the Negroni’s three ingredients: Campari is swapped for the lighter and more orangey Aperol and dry vermouth substitutes for sweet. It’s more like the Negroni’s third cousin than a direct descendant.
Ingalls Photography

OULEVARDIER COCKTAIL 59,-

In this negroni variation, gin is swapped out for bourbon.
Ingalls Photography
The recipe for this classic variation on the Negroni, in which sweet, woody bourbon is used instead of gin, comes from bartender Ted Kilgore of St. Louis’ Planter’s House restaurant. The original version of the cocktail first showed up in the 1927 book Barflies and Cocktails, and is credited to Erskine Gwynne, founder of a Parisian literary magazine with the same name as the drink.
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OLD PAL 59,-

In this negroni cousin, the gin is replaced with rye whiskey.
Ingalls Photography
Bartender Jonny Raglin, of San Francisco’s Comstock Saloon, gave us the recipe for this classic Negroni cousin, which pairs spicy rye whiskey and light, dry vermouth with bitter Campari. The drink shows up in books as early as the 1927 Barflies and Cocktails, but in its original form, it included sweet vermouth and Canadian whisky. It took a few years for the current recipe to take hold.

SGROPPINO 69,-

Sgroppino, a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco, is common in Italy as a palate cleanser, a dessert, or a pre-dinner drink.
Helen Rosner
Sgroppino, a slushy combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco, is common in Italy as a palate cleanser, a dessert, or a pre-dinner drink. We prefer this version by Marc Vetri’s beverage director Steve Wildy, with the ingredients whisked together to create a chilly, frothy libation.
Senza Nome

ROSSINI 69,-

A luscious take on the bellini, the Rossini swaps strawberries in for white peaches and prosecco in for champagne.
Maxime Iattoni
A luscious take on the bellini, the Rossini swaps in strawberries for the latter drink’s white peaches, and prosecco for champagne. Serve this versatile cocktail in place of mimosas at brunch, as an aperitif, or with dessert.