Winter Spiced Negroni is a stunning seasonal twist on the classic Negroni, featuring festive spices & charred orange. It’s not to be missed.
Short & to the point. That’s what I’m going to be today. Just like this little Winter Spice Negroni of mine.
This week has been my busiest week so far this year. I knew I was over-stretching myself a week ago, but I ploughed ahead and took on too much. But good news, by this evening, the week will be behind me. And I’ll have a Winter Spice Negroni by my side as I put up our Christmas tree.
There’s that word. Christmas. The reason you are probably all having a week as busy as mine.
Despite being in a level of chaos I’m not fond of, I refuse to leave our tree in its box while I get on with some of those outstanding (yawn) jobs. Today is the first Friday in December and in our house that means decorations go up. If not, then I will have failed to uphold the most important of our family traditions: embracing the pre-Christmas excitement of our ever-growing children. If that ever happens, you’ll find me hiding; shame faced in the garden shed… forever more.
So tonight I’ll be transforming our house into a winter wonderland with a Winter Spiced Christmas Negroni to guide me along the way. It’s fruity, spicy & bitter – a true friend of mine.
I tried a version of a spiced Negroni last December at one of our favourite restaurants, Polpo. Regular readers will know that whenever I taste an impressive cocktail at a restaurant or bar, it becomes my mission to make one just as good at home.
What is a Winter Spiced Negroni?
A classic Negroni is a blend of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. It is bittersweet and very boozy.
To create a more festive Negroni I’ve tinkered with the classic recipe two ways.
- At the heart of my rendition is a spice-infused gin featuring star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. This gin brings a bounty of tempting, toasty spice notes into the Christmas Negroni equation
- The Polpo version included an abundance of fresh orange wedges, which really worked, so I’ve added several charred orange wedges to the mix too.
And if you like bittersweet cocktails take a look at my amaro Averna cocktail, my Amaro, Campari & bourbon cocktail and my white Negroni. All three are exquisite.
How to Enjoy a Negroni Cocktail Properly
I’ve heard that the best way to enjoy any cocktail is to use as many of your senses as you can. So, before you dive headlong into this Winter Spiced Negroni do these three things:
- Use your eyes: admire that beautiful, lush, seasonal red with scorched orange segments muddled in – you’ve got to adore it
- Use your nose: inhale those intoxicating citrus aromas mixed in with festive spices
- Use your tastebuds: savour your first sip – those gorgeous toasted spice & charred citrus flavours unite very nicely indeed with the bitterness of the Campari & the sweet vermouth
This Christmas Negroni is a stunning seasonal twist on the classic. Knowing I have one of these waiting for me tonight is all the incentive I’ll need to get some the Christmas party music on the go and get those decorations up.
Try more Campari recipes:
- Grapefruit Negroni with Rosemary
- Venetian Spritz
- Cocktail Inspired Truffles: Negroni Truffles
- The Italian American: a Bourbon Campari Amaro Cocktail
- Blood Orange Martini
Winter Spice Negroni
- 500 ml Gin
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Cloves nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks (each approx 7.5cm/ 3 inches in length)
- 15 cloves
Winter Spiced Negroni
- 30 ml/ 1 fl oz gin
- 60 ml/ 2 fl oz red vermouth
- 60 ml/ 2 fl oz campari
- 2 chunky segments of orange
- Sunflower oil (or other tasteles oil)
Make the Spice Gin
- Roughly smash up the spices using either a pestle & mortar or the end of a rolling pin
- Put the spices into a dry (un-oiled) frying pan and heat gently for 1-2 minutes to release their aromas
- Tip the spices into a large screwcap jar, pour over the gin and seal. Store for 5 days giving the jar a gentle shake every day or so
- After 5 days strain the gin through a muslin cloth to remove the spices.
- Store the strained gin in a glass bottle for up to 3 months
Make the Winter Negroni
- Put an un-oiled frying pan over a high heat while you brush the orange segments lightly with the oil. Place both segments flesh side down in the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until beginning to char. Flip over and cook the other side in the same way. Remove from the pan to cool
- Put a few ice cubes into your glass, add one of the charred orange wedges and top with a little more ice
- Pour the gin, red vermouth and Campari over the ice. Stir briefly. Add the remaining orange segment & serve immediately
Can the orange be pre-charred in the morning instead of doing it at the time for every cocktail?
Also, what kind of gin do you recommend?
Hi Cat, I’m wondering if it might just dry out a little. There’s nothing to stop you giving it a go though… For the gin, go for a dry gin perhaps with a spice led rather than floral or citrussy profile. There’s no need to use anything too expensive as you’ll be changing the character of the gin anyway by infusing it with spices. My go-to gin would be Opirh. It’s lovely and not too demanding on the purse strings.
I went out Friday to buy the gin to infuse it! I’m so excited to try this, as negronis are a favorite at Andersen casa. Unfortunately, I grabbed Aperol instead of Campari (???). I’ll send Mark after that so we can try your winter spice negroni!
I served this to my book club and they all loved it! It was so pretty, too! They’ll be stopping by to get the recipe 🙂
Oh wow – lucky book club! Thanks for telling me 🙂
This warms you right up! Thanks for sharing!
In the recipe it says 2 cloves nutmeg do you mean 2 nutmeg, and obviously these can’t be bashed with a rolling pin so do you grate it in??
Hi Claire. Yes, I do mean 2 nutmeg (balls, cloves…) as long as they’re are whole to begin with. They need to be broken into chunks rather than grated. Using a pestle and mortar is the easiest way to crack the nutmeg into pieces, but failing that you could try giving them a whack with something sturdy – like the end of a rolling pin or even a hammer to break into chunks (wrap in a tea towel or place into a plastic bag if you think the pieces will fly around). The aim is the break each nutmeg into small chunks.
Looks sinfully yummy. But what is a “clove” of nutmeg?
Hi Karin, first of all, sorry for the late reply – I’m afraid your message got put into spam. The ‘clove’ of nutmeg is just one ball of nutmeg – I’ve always called them cloves – hoping I’ve not lead my life mis-informed :0
Meghan | Fox and Briar
I’m pretty sure this cocktail would help with any little tasks that I needed to do. LOVE that there is spiced gin in here. I love gin so much, but I often think of it as a summer spirit. And that orange wedge! Too pretty. Pinning!
Thanks Meghan. I’ve never really thought of flavouring gin before, but infusing it with spices does transport it to a winter drink wonderfully well. Enjoy 😉
Lynn | The Road to Honey
I’m glad to hear that I am not the only one behind this holiday season. I hope you managed to find time to convert your home into a Winter wonderland. . .all while enjoying a couple of these cockies. It looks fabulous btw. . .and that charred orange. . .stunning!
Good luck on catching up Lynn. I’m having a much better week this week. The tree is up and school Christmas shows are underway. Need to infuse some more gin though 😉
I love a good negroni!! I would love it if you would link this up to Tipsy Tuesday at Grey is the New Black!
Thanks Pam – hopping over now 😉
Christine | Mid-Life Croissant
We are major fans of the Negroni around here. We used to substitute the gin though and use whiskey. But now we’re into the gin. I think my husband will plotz when I infuse some with those spices! And don’t get me started on the charred orange wedges. Such a great cocktail.
Also, in case you didn’t see it, I put a call out for creative coffee/espresso recipes for Buzzfeed. If you have anything send me a link…christine [@] midlifecroissant [.] com Happy tree trimming! You’re light years ahead of me.
Thanks Christine, I think you’ll like it.
The tree is up! I had a little helper for some of it last night, so even better.
Mailing you shortly….