White Negroni

This amber-looking and lighter-flavored version of the classic cocktail is sure to be your next obsession.

White Negroni

In Ian Fleming’s short story Risico, secret agent James Bond does a lot of drinking. That’s not really out of the ordinary for the character, either in literary or cinematic form. 007 is fairly notorious for his indulgences, be they martinis or women. We never really see him overdrink in the movies, and it doesn’t seem to slow him down either… unless someone poisons his Vesper, ala Casino Royale. In the books and stories, specifically Moonraker, Bond has been known to wake up with a hangover from the excesses of the night before. “Champagne and Benzedrine! Never again!” he once lamented to himself on a hard morning after.

In Risico, one of the drinks Bond enjoys is the Negroni. Meeting with the villain Kristatos in Rome, the British agent orders the strong and bitter tipple, specifying Gordon’s gin when he orders it. While reading this little caper this past summer, I began to get really curious about the cocktail with the regal-sounding name. A few months later on my birthday, I remembered the name and ordered myself one, excited to see what this deep red elixir tasted like. The juniper from the gin jumped forward and my first sip finished with the bitter, but surprisingly refreshing Campari. I was in love and the Negroni soon became my number one Friday night cocktail.

One afternoon for Happy Hour, I walked around the corner to my local watering hole here in Los Angeles, Jay’s Bar. This is a cool spot that has old-school divey vibes and an unpretentious class all its own. I saw a White Negroni on the menu and couldn’t resist. I had to see what this was and how it compared to one of my all-time favorite drinks. It was lighter in color, as well as flavor. Floral scents and notes hit my tongue along with a slightly refreshing bitterness. Not as strong as the original, but just as good, while hitting totally different spots that satisfied in fascinating ways.

I also assumed I was drinking a Campari and Blanc vermouth based concoction, but I was way off. Neither ingredient features in the White Negroni, but rather it uses a gentian liqueur and Lillet Blanc, a wine-based aperitif. I was already familiar with the Lillet, as I love to make my Vesper Martinis with it. It’s great with club soda on the rocks, too, and stronger than you might expect.

I had a few White Negronis that evening, which was made with a really crisp Japanese gin, which I’ll talk more about later.

What is Gentian Liqueur?

Originating in the French Alps and first being mentioned as an alcoholic beverage around the late 1800s, gentian liqueur is a flowery, bittersweet and earthy tasting spirit that can also include infusions of citrus, such as orange, and candied fruits.

What is the Best Gin to Use in a White Negroni?

I love gin so much, I’d marry it if I could. Alas, gin said no, but we can totally still be friends. Which is great, because once I had a White Negroni that was made with an incredible Japanese gin, to be on the outs would break my heart. I highly and heartily recommend that you go out and find a bottle of gin made in the Land of the Rising Sun, not just for this drink but for any other that might call for it. With infusions of cherry blossom, green tea and a slightly smoky aftertaste, you’ll be amazed at how familiar and incredibly new this spirit tastes the first time you sip it.

White Negroni
Servings 1 serving
serving 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc aperitif
  • 1/2 ounce Suze gentian liqueur
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Instructions

  • Combine the gin, Lillet Blanc, and Suze in a mixing glass filled with ice.
  • Stir the mixture for 15 to 20 seconds until the drink is well-chilled.
  • Strain the chilled mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Express a lemon twist over the drink and drop it in as garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 0.4mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 8g | Iron: 0.02mg
White Negroni

FAQs & Tips

White Negroni

Similar Cocktails to the White Negroni

If you’re like me (and I know I am), then you enjoy your adult beverages having a little bite to them. Twist & Toast has some beautifully bitter cocktails that you can make at home, right now. Check out some of our recipes below and start mixing a new favorite tonight.

  • Negroni – Learn how to make this legendary drink to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Tequila Negroni – Give your next Negroni a little Southwestern flair by swapping the gin for tequila.
  • Aperol Negroni – A slightly lighter take on the classic, using Aperol in place of Campari.
  • Stanley Tucci’s Negroni – My favorite version of the cocktail, by way of the popular actor. 2 oz of gin, 1 oz of sweet vermouth and 1 oz of Campari. Shaken, not stirred and served “up” in a chilled coupe. Amazing.

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