Cocktail & Other Recipes Cocktail Type Coffee & Dessert

Negroni Sorbet

Negroni Sorbet in an amber-colored wine glass garnished with an orange peel flower
Image: Steven Canfield

The Negroni is an Italian classic that dates back to the early 20th century when it first appeared in Florence. Since its inception, the equal-parts combination of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth has enthralled drinkers with its charmingly bitter flavor that works well as an aperitif or as a night cap.

Today, the classic remains a steady figure on menus, but over the years, creative barkeeps and home bartenders have tweaked the recipe to make myriad variations. Most swap the base spirit or replace Campari with another bitter liqueur, but some turn the drink on its head entirely. The Negroni Sorbet is a perfect example, especially because it’s not a drink at all, but a frozen treat that you eat with a spoon.

The recipe comes from Steven Canfield at Boxes and Booze. First up, you need an ice cream maker before you can begin. Once that’s acquired, the process is easy—you simply combine gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with ruby red grapefruit juice, sugar and water, and let the ice cream maker do its thing. Freeze the result for a couple hours, and then it’s ready to eat.

The grapefruit juice adds fresh, zesty notes of citrus to the sorbet, turning a delicious cocktail into a refreshing and surprisingly light dessert. Serve this to your dinner guests, and you’ll likely be put in charge of desserts at every future gathering.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin

  • 1 ounce Campari

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • Garnish: orange twist or flower

Steps

  1. Combine the gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, grapefruit juice, sugar and water into an ice cream maker and freeze, according to the ice cream maker instructions, until the mixture begins to obtain the consistency of sorbet.

  2. Transfer to a closed container and store sealed in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

  3. Serve in a cocktail glass or wine glass.

  4. Garnish with an orange twist or peel cut into the shape of a flower.

Recipe Variations

Frozen Negroni: A blended riff on the classic, with Aperol and grapefruit bitters.

Mezcal Negroni: A simple but much-loved variation that uses mezcal in place of gin.

White Negroni: This version gets its bitterness from Suze gentian liqueur and subs Lillet Blanc for vermouth.

Grapefruit Negroni: Enjoy some gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with fresh grapefruit juice.