The Negroni was stirred to life in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the early 21st century that seemingly every bartender with a mixing glass and bar spoon began to create their own version of the classic cocktail. With its holy trinity of ingredients—gin, sweet vermouth, Campari—the Negroni has become the Mr. Potato Head of drinks. Creative barkeeps mix and match the spirit, vermouth (or other aromatized wine or aperitif) and bitter liqueur to create a fun and original drink that still checks all the right boxes.
This version is essentially a Mezcal Negroni, but with a detour. It calls for a touch more mezcal than the typical equal-parts formula, giving the drink an extra earthy and savory quality. Most interesting of all, it employs rosemary-infused Campari to lend the drink an aromatic and herbaceous backbone. The infused Campari is easy to make at home or behind the bar and simply requires Campari, a few rosemary sprigs and a 24-hour nap in a Mason jar. If you want a Rosemary Mezcal Negroni, you’d better think ahead. But once you make the infusion, you’ll have a batch on hand to dose your next many drinks.
The Rosemary Mezcal Negroni is a decent leap from the classic gin-based cocktail, but it still hits the notes you’re looking for in a good Negroni: It’s potent, refreshingly bitter and well-balanced. Dial up its herbal character and smoke even more with a flamed rosemary garnish, which is optional but highly recommended.
Click Play to See This Rosemary Mezcal Negroni Come Together
- 1 1/4 ounce mezcal
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce rosemary-infused Campari*
- Garnish: grapefruit peel
- Garnish: rosemary sprig
Add the mezcal, sweet vermouth and rosemary-infused Campari into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Express oil from a grapefruit peel over the surface of the drink and discard.
Garnish with a rosemary sprig. (Optional: Using a kitchen torch, flame the rosemary until it smokes and extinguish before serving.).
*Rosemary-infused Campari: In a large Mason jar, combine 12 oz Campari and 4 rosemary sprigs and seal. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, shaking occasionally. Strain solids and keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.