Aperol Negroni Cocktail

The Aperol Negroni Cocktail is less herbaceous and more intensely orange than one made with Campari.

Aperol Negroni Cocktail Served on a Napkin with LemonTwist

The first time I tasted Aperol, I thought it the “little sister” of Campari. Sweeter for sure, less vigorous herbaceous tones and about half the alcohol content but definitely related. They actually come from the same stable of brands and it’s suggested that anytime you see Campari called for, you can substitute Aperol which I’ve done in this Aperol Negroni Cocktail.

Both are technically classified as bitters or an aperitif, which is traditionally served before a meal to take the edge off. I also enjoy it as an after dinner cocktail when it’s time to relax and read or watch some television.

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I’m aware that some aficionados tout the complexity of a Negroni but I’ll tell you, all I can tout is that it’s not for me. A bit too bitter if  you will. The Negroni can be an acquired taste that some people will love and others will not, I’m definitely in the ‘not’ category.

I’ve been told to keep at it, that I will come to love it. I was told the same thing about beer decades ago and I still don’t like it so why would grimace through a taste I don’t enjoy so that I can acquire a fondness? Life is too short for that nonsense!

It is widely believed that the Negroni was created and named for Count Cammillo Negroni in the 1920’s when he ordered an Americano and requested the addition of gin at Cafe Casoni in Florence, Italy.

The Americano; occasionally referred to as a neutered Negroni, dates back to at least 1861, when it was served at Gaspare Campari’s bar in Milan, a meeting place over the years for a variety of celebrities, from Giuseppe Verdi to Ernest Hemingway.

Prohibition saw Americans flock to Italy for holidays where they could not only imbibe but because the extremely bitter Campari was classified as a medicinal product in the United States. Americans took the recipe home and legally indulged in Campari cocktails throughout Prohibition.

I love the Aperol Spritz, another Italian favorite and decided that I needed to try this cocktail using Campari’s baby sis. So glad I did; it is much more to my liking.

I had a reader mention recently how terrific the Vya brand of vermouth is so was very lucky to have received samples from the owners. Vya Sweet Vermouth is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Orange Muscat, and is hand infused at Quady Winery with a selection of over seventeen herbs and spices.

They are worth sourcing in your area; the difference between what I’ve typically purchased and these lovely spirits is remarkable and absolutely worth the effort. For the Aperol Negroni in the photo, I paired the Aperol with sweet vermouth and Van Gogh gin and they were a great compliment to each other. The Aperol added a very nice but not at all cloying sweetness.

This drink is not only less bitter than a Negroni but the flavor of orange is more present. My friend was most eloquent upon tasting my new concoction; I do believe he uttered ‘awesome!’ Yes it was! If you’ve tried a Negroni and had any of the same type response that I did…give them another shot using Aperol; I’m betting you won’t be disappointed either.

Ignore the naysayers who consider this cocktail an abomination…it’s a drink folks, not worth getting ourselves tied into knots over! And if you’re a bigger fan of Campari than I am, you might enjoy this Summer Campari Cocktail; it’s a unique blend of ingredients but it’s amazing!

PIN IT! ‘Aperol Negroni Cocktail’

Aperol Negroni Cocktail Served on a Napkin with LemonTwist
Aperol Negroni Cocktail in a Scene with Aperol and Vermouth Bottles
Aperol Negroni Cocktail Served on a Napkin with LemonTwist

The Aperol Negroni Cocktail

A version of the Negroni using Aperol, a slightly sweeter and more intensely orange version of bitters.
4.65 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails, Liqueurs
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 Cocktail
Calories 188 kcal


  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce gin


  • Orange slice or twist


  • Pour the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes and stir well.
  • Garnish with the orange slice.


Nutrition Facts
The Aperol Negroni Cocktail
Serving Size
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword aperol, cocktail, italian, negroni
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  1. Aperol has a lower alcohol concentration than Campari, at 11%, but having a similar appearance, flavor, and aroma. Although it doesn’t precisely taste the same as you describe, it makes an adequate replacement and wouldn’t be easy to mistake for genuine Campari. (While it may sound unusual, Campari really produces Aperol.)

  2. NEGRONI must have Bitter Campari and Martini vermouth!!!
    It’ not like a spritz that can manage the two absolute different tastes.
    You’ll have to call it with an other name.
    Save NEGRONI as it is

    1. Life is too short…I like the combination better and the name is simply to let people know of the change I made. Not earth shattering certainly.

      1. This drink is an abomination. I see this was written in 2012. It seems enough time has probably passed, and the cocktail renaissance has matured enough that the truth regarding the Aperol “Negroni” can be spoken freely.

        I get why people want to call their random concoctions that are not Negronis, a [blank] Negroni. Because being known as a person who likes Negronis gives you credibility given that people who honestly like Negronis tend to be hip, ballsey, laterally thinking creatives. They like the Negroni for all the reasons you hate it, and that infuriates you. It’s the same reason vegans insist that their spicy vegetable stew be referred to as “chili.” Because chili is awesome and people who love chili are butch, tough-as-nails badasses. But sorry, bub, chili is meat and heat.

        So, six years on, let’s put this particular article in the ground, where it belongs. A Negroni is Campari, sweet vermouth and gin in equal parts. The concoction described by this author might be good for cleaning engine parts, though.

        1. Aw Jack did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today? The only abomination on this page is your nasty commentary! It’s funny but I have never once resigned who I am to the type of cocktail I drink. I’ll do me and you do you…which is not really so hip, ballsy, or laterally thinking as it is rude and nasty. Bye Felicia.

        2. Yes they are; I always envision some poor guys, without friends, who just have to take their misery out on a stranger online. As if I will wither and die. Seems I’m alive! 🙂

        3. The person who wrote the article (Barb?) has NO idea what she’s taking about. Her argument is exactly akin to owning a 20-year-old Ford and telling your friends you drive a new Cadillac. Saying so, and even thinking so, does NOT make it so. If she can’t tell the difference between Aperol and Campari, well, she can’t tell the difference. In any event, a “Negroni” is and always has been, made with Campari, not Aperol or prune juice or even gasoline. Any editor with a grain of sense would have stopped her before she made such a fool of herself.

        4. Lucky for me this is my blog and I don’t let people like you define what I do.

          Maybe you should start your own blog and then your opinion will rule!

        5. Guys get over it, the espresso martini is not technically a martini, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with being creative and breaking the rules. If you want to be a cocktail-name Nazi then make up your own blog. Goodness me. I just wondered if you could make a drink like a negroni but with Aperol instead of Campari, and found this, thanks to the name. Thanks Barb.

  3. I’m on your same wavelength with the negroni. I started with the “cheeky” negroni, using gin, lillet and aperol, and I’m loving right now the Aperol Negroni using Hayman’s Old Tom gin, Campano Antica vermouth, and Aperol. So delicious.

    I may never drink Campari again.

    1. I tried but the truth is why try too hard; it is simply too herbaceous and bitter for my tastes. Wish I had one now; your cocktail sounds divine.

  4. The idea that a liqueur could be passed off as medicine is something of a challenge for the adventurous! Will have to try a Negroni or an Americano.

    1. I think I’m adventurous too…and I adventured there. I think you have to try one and see what you think; would love to hear. I now folks that love them but I guess Bitter R Not Us. 🙂

  5. I bought a bottle of Aperol for a sangria recipe this summer and the bottle has sat until now. I will have to pick up some gin and sweet vermouth and give this cocktail a try.

  6. I always learn something new about cocktails on your blog! I have never had Aperol Negroni or Aperol Americano before, but I am always willing to try something new for sure! At my friends house yesterday, he let me try this French hard alcohol (totally can’t remember the name.) It was so smooth and delicious. I am getting more adventurous in my old age about trying alcohol, LOL! Thank you for sharing, Hugs, Terra

  7. I’ve not had Aperol, mainly because I do enjoy Campari (it has to be mixed with something, though). I should give it a try. Although, to me, I can’t imagine the Negroni is better with Aperol – it’s such a great drink as is! But I don’t like my drinks over sweet. Really interesting post – thanks.

    1. I’m sure it’s a great drink for many but just a bit too bitter for me to really enjoy it. Aperol is not sweet per se; maybe just less bitter? Fine line between the two huh? I almost called it a Negroni Lite but that sounded way too frivolous for a good drink…that it has half the alcohol content has that name be appropriate though.

  8. I’ve had neither Negroni nor Campari and appreciate the heads-up that you find Negroni a bit too bitter. This cocktail looks like a lovely sweeter drink, one that I might enjoy, especially the orange flavour! It certainly has a beautiful colour to it.

    1. I’ve had a Negroni and just didn’t like it at all; this brings together the same flavor components but in a milder version. That it used to be considered medicinal doesn’t surprise me at all. I know bitters are all the rage but I’ve never been one to jump on a ‘rage’ bandwagon. I like a wide variety of cocktails, some sweet, some not so much but trust me, a Negroni can be grimace inducing for some…including me!

  9. I’ve only recently had my first aperol… It’s just not a drink that was very well known here and it is getting to be a little more popular now I think. I had my first aperol at a magazine launch where I think they drink was launched as well and then not too long ago the second one at a workshop in Germany. It’s not exactly my taste but hey I think if I mix with all of the drinks you described it might be a good one!

    1. I enjoyed it over the summer the way Italians do by the droves in an Aperol Spritz; thought it very refreshing when mixed with prosecco and club soda. I’ve never cared for Campari; just too bitter for my tastes. Do try it as a Spritz or subbing out the Campari in a Negroni or Americano; not only less bitter but half the volume of alcohol too; I prefer that lighter touch!

      Here’s the Spritz – still my favorite:


    2. Loved all the comments and your response even more so Barb 😁
      I actually enjoy both, just depends on my mood really. I’m at this moment having a very different “negroni” and loving it. A reserve rubino vermouth soaked with strawberries and black pepper for several hours over a spiced gin and Aperol. Bloody delicious 😋

    1. True Negroni lovers might not love the Aperol like I do but they might love the original Americano. You have to love Campari to love a Negroni…same with an Americano.

  10. Gosh that is pretty! But not too pretty to drink I am sure. I’ve never tried Aperol but will look for it next time I am in the liquor store.

    1. It’s relatively new to the states Holly…come try a taste of mine before you invest; it is a most unusual component for sure.

  11. Although it looks, tastes, and smells much like Campari, Aperol has an alcohol content of 11% which is less than half of Campari. It doesn’t quite have the taste as you say, but it is an ok substitute, but would be difficult to pass off as true Campari. (It may sound strange, but Aperol is actually made by Campari)

    1. Yes, all true and I know they’re made by the same folks! I’m not suggesting anyone try to pass Aperol off as Campari, I’m just saying that for me (and I’m betting others) that the use of Aperol results in a similar drink that might be more to the liking of those of us who just don’t love Campari.

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