Mixology at Home - Negroni

This is a classic 1920s gin-based cocktail that you either love for the bitterness or hate due to the bitterness.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:54 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Happy Ginuary. Yes, I know there are people who do celebrate and partake in Dry January, but people have been celebrating gin longer.

Gin was first distilled back in the Middle Ages. People associate England with gin but it was a Dutch invention. Gin is made with juniper berries and gin is the Dutch word for juniper. English soldiers called gin “Dutch Courage.”

I’m not a fan of the gin taste. I liken it to drinking turpentine. That’s not true, at least these days. Back in the 18th century it really was distilled with turpentine. That ended a century later.


For this week’s Mixology, I pick another Prohibition-era cocktail with gin, the Negroni. By the way, you can thank gin, bathtub gin actually, for the phrase “blind drunk.” Some people reportedly went blind due to bad bathtub gin.

Keeping with our theme of one-two-three, no chemistry degree needed; a Negroni is equal parts (one ounce each) gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. Combine into a mixing glass with ice, stir to chill and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange peel.

Now I find the Negroni too bitter for me, that Campari. But don’t let that stop you from at least trying it. There are a lot of people who find this drink quite pleasing.

Bourbon/Rye Substitute

Now, if you are not a gin fan, substitute bourbon for the gin and you have a Boulevardier, another 1920s era cocktail. In the Boulevardier, you want to add a little more bourbon to keep the drink from being overpowered by the vermouth and Campari, so measure out 1 ¼ ounces.

Gin Twist

The most popular gin drink, invented sometime in the 1820s, was the gin twist, 1 ½ ounces dry gin, ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ ounce sugar syrup poured into a warmed toddy glass and topped with boiling water.