Stories / Drinks, Recipes

Why the Negroni is the Ultimate Blank Canvas

Frank Guerriero

September 27, 2019


Photo: copyright © 2017 by Doron Gild

Anyone who’s set foot in a craft cocktail bar knows that few drinks garner more reverence and love than the Negroni. Bartenders cherish this Italian stalwart for its bitter, boozy versatility, and they’re constantly stirring (and sometimes shaking) up variations to tack onto the Negroni family tree. This Happy Hour, we’re highlighting the rum-based branch of spirited cousins, in particular this East India Negroni courtesy of master mixologist Jim Meehan.

The recipe from his Beard Award–winning volume, Meehan’s Bartender Manual, controversially departs from the standard Negroni build. Instead of combining three components in equal parts, Meehan employs a much heavier pour of barrel-aged English-style rum and backs it up with sweetness and complexity from Campari and sherry. Stirred down, served over a single large ice cube (a.k.a. the right way), and garnished with a twist of orange for brightness, this drink is an undeniably strong start to your Friday happy hour. Get the recipe.

Hungry for more? View our entire recipe collection.


Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.