Tequila Negroni


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Tequila Negroni_001

Introduction to the Tequila Negroni

The Tequila Negroni is a modern twist on a classic cocktail, infusing the traditional Italian aperitif with the bold flavors of Mexico. This bittersweet concoction is perfect for those who appreciate a drink with depth and complexity. Let’s dive into the world of this intriguing cocktail.

Originating from the classic Negroni, the Tequila Negroni replaces gin with tequila, offering a smoother, oak-infused undertone. It’s a cocktail that stands out for its balance of flavors, appealing to both tequila aficionados and lovers of the original Negroni.

Whether you’re unwinding after a long day or looking to impress guests at your next gathering, the Tequila Negroni is a sophisticated choice. Its unique flavor profile makes it a versatile cocktail suitable for any occasion.

Key Facts About the Tequila Negroni

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 24% ABV (48 proof)

Calories: Approximately 150 kcal

Preferred Glass: Rocks glass

Typical Garnish: Orange peel

Interesting Facts about the Tequila Negroni

The Tequila Negroni is not just a simple substitution; it’s a reimagining of the classic. The use of reposado tequila adds a mellow oakiness that complements the herbal notes of the Campari and vermouth.

Despite its recent popularity, the Tequila Negroni remains true to the spirit of the original, embodying the essence of a true aperitif.

Its versatility has made it a favorite among bartenders, who often use it as a base for creating innovative new cocktails.

Tequila Negroni Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Tequila Negroni is a symphony of flavors, with the tequila providing a warm, earthy base that is elevated by the bitter and herbal notes of Campari and sweet vermouth. This cocktail is for those who enjoy a drink that commands attention with every sip.

It’s a perfect choice for pre-dinner socializing, known as an aperitif, stimulating the appetite and conversation alike. The Tequila Negroni suits a variety of occasions, from casual get-togethers to formal events.

Its complex flavor profile may not be for everyone, but it’s sure to be a hit with those who appreciate a cocktail with character. The Tequila Negroni is a drink that leaves a lasting impression.

History of the Tequila Negroni

The Negroni has a storied history, dating back to early 20th-century Italy, where it was first concocted for Count Camillo Negroni. The classic version features gin, but as the cocktail culture evolved, so did the variations of this beloved drink.

The Tequila Negroni emerged as a popular variant, especially in North America where tequila has a strong following. It’s a testament to the adaptability of the original recipe and the creativity of modern mixologists.

While the exact origin of the Tequila Negroni is not well-documented, it’s clear that this variation has made its mark on the cocktail scene. It’s a modern classic that honors its roots while bringing something new to the table.

Tequila Negroni Ingredients

Tequila: 1 oz (30 ml) of reposado tequila is used for its smooth, aged flavor that forms the backbone of the cocktail.

Campari: 1 oz (30 ml) of Campari adds the quintessential bittersweet profile, essential to any Negroni variation.

Sweet Vermouth: 1 oz (30 ml) of sweet vermouth balances the bitterness with its herbal and sweet notes.

Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling the ingredients and diluting the cocktail to the perfect strength.

Orange Peel: A garnish that adds a citrus aroma, enhancing the overall sensory experience of the drink.

Did you know? The Negroni is said to have been invented when Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin instead of soda water.

Mixing Tequila Negroni

Tequila Negroni Method

Chilling the Ingredients

Begin by filling a mixing glass with ice cubes to chill the tequila, Campari, and sweet vermouth. This step is crucial for achieving the right temperature and dilution.

Stirring the Cocktail

Stir the ingredients together for about 30 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also ensures that the flavors are well-integrated.

Straining into the Glass

Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with large ice cubes. The larger cubes melt slower, preventing over-dilution.

Garnishing with Orange Peel

Express the orange peel over the cocktail to release its oils, then drop it into the glass. This adds a subtle citrus note to the drink.

Serving Suggestion

The Tequila Negroni is traditionally served in a rocks glass, which allows the drink to be enjoyed slowly, savoring each sip. The wide brim of the glass also helps to disperse the aromatics of the cocktail.

The orange peel garnish is more than just decoration; it’s an essential element that adds a fresh, zesty aroma. To prepare it, cut a wide strip of peel, avoiding the bitter white pith, and twist it over the drink to release the oils.

Elevating the Tequila Negroni

  • Choose High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for premium tequila, Campari, and vermouth to ensure the best flavor.
  • Experiment with Vermouth: Try different brands or types of vermouth to find the perfect match for your palate.
  • Control Dilution: Use large, clear ice cubes to chill the drink without watering it down too quickly.

These tips will help you craft a Tequila Negroni that stands out for its exceptional taste and presentation.

Tequila Negroni Finished

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Tequila Negroni

If you’re out of reposado tequila, an añejo or even a blanco tequila can be used, though the flavor profile will change. Añejo will add more depth, while blanco will be brighter and sharper.

For those who find Campari too bitter, Aperol can be a sweeter, less intense alternative. Similarly, different vermouths can be used to adjust the sweetness level.

Similar cocktails include the classic Negroni, the Boulevardier, which uses bourbon, and the Mezcal Negroni for a smokier take.

Add a Twist

For a unique variation, infuse the tequila with spices such as cinnamon or vanilla before mixing the cocktail. This adds a warm, aromatic dimension to the drink.

Another idea is to add a splash of soda water for a lighter, more refreshing version of the Tequila Negroni. This is especially enjoyable in warmer weather.

Lastly, consider using a flavored vermouth or adding a few drops of bitters to introduce new flavor notes and complexity.

Preferred Liquors for the Tequila Negroni

When it comes to tequila, brands like Patrón Reposado or Don Julio Reposado are excellent choices for their smooth, oaky flavors that blend well with the other ingredients.

For Campari, there is no substitute for the original. Its distinct flavor is essential to the identity of the Tequila Negroni.

As for sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula or Cocchi Vermouth di Torino are highly recommended for their rich, complex profiles.

Similar Cocktails to the Tequila Negroni

If you enjoy the Tequila Negroni, you might also like the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, which combines tequila with mezcal and bitters. It’s another sophisticated, spirit-forward cocktail.

The Manhattan is another classic that shares the Tequila Negroni’s appreciation for vermouth, but with whiskey as the base spirit.

For a lighter option, the Americano, the Negroni’s predecessor, uses soda water instead of gin or tequila, offering a more refreshing taste.

Food Pairings to go with the Tequila Negroni

Classic Italian antipasti, such as olives, cured meats, and cheese, pair wonderfully with the Tequila Negroni, complementing its bittersweet profile.

For a more adventurous pairing, try spicy Mexican tapas like jalapeño poppers or ceviche, which will stand up to the bold flavors of the cocktail.

Tequila Negroni FAQs

Can I make a Tequila Negroni without Campari? While Campari is a key ingredient, you can use other bitters like Aperol for a different taste.

Is it necessary to use reposado tequila? Reposado is preferred for its smoothness, but other types of tequila can be used based on your preference.

What’s the best way to garnish a Tequila Negroni? A freshly cut orange peel is traditional, but you can also experiment with a lemon twist or a sprig of rosemary.

How should I serve a Tequila Negroni? Serve it in a rocks glass with large ice cubes to maintain the perfect dilution and temperature.

Can I batch prepare Tequila Negronis for a party? Yes, you can mix the ingredients in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Just stir with ice and garnish before serving.

Tequila Negroni_001

Tequila Negroni

A bold twist on the classic Negroni, the Tequila Negroni swaps out gin for tequila, offering a smoother and slightly more complex flavor profile that's perfect for those who enjoy a bittersweet cocktail with a kick.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 150 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Rocks glass


  • 1 oz Tequila preferably reposado
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange peel for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the tequila, Campari, and sweet vermouth.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well-chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with large ice cubes.
  • Express the orange peel over the cocktail by twisting it to release the oils, then drop it into the glass as a garnish.


For a smoother taste, opt for a reposado tequila which has been aged in oak barrels. The aging process imparts a mellow oak flavor that complements the bitter and herbal notes of the Campari and vermouth.
Keyword Aperitif, Bittersweet, Campari, Classic Cocktails, Cocktail, Negroni Variations, Stirred, sweet vermouth, Tequila, Tequila Cocktails, Tequila Negroni

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