Use Cranberries To Give Your Negroni A Tart Twist

Any Italophile — not to mention a fan of strong cocktails — has ordered a Negroni or two. The strong, bitter, and robust drink is currently having a moment, thanks to the viral surge of Negroni sbagliatos. According to NPR, the Negroni sbagliato substitutes prosecco in place of gin, which complements the cocktail's trademark Campari and sweet vermouth. Add equal parts of both liquids before finishing off your concoction with a generous pour of prosecco. The result? A bubblier version of the beloved original.

When it comes to Negroni variations, swapping out gin for your choice of spirits has a proven success rate. Plenty of creative Negronis call for the use of less traditional substitutes that range from bourbon to mezcal. It's easy to personalize your cocktail. The drink has been around since roughly 1919, and with more than 100 years under its belt, the Negroni has clearly yielded plenty of derivatives.

Yet there's another twist to keep on the back burner. The next time you pull out the Campari, don't forgo the gin — but consider adding yet another ingredient. Enter the cranberry: a festive fruit that packs a lot of punch in a small, red package.

Cranberries complement the flavors of a classic Negroni

Cranberries aren't just for Thanksgiving. In fact, you can prolong the flavors of the holiday season year-round by adding the fruit's flavor to any and all Negronis. The addition of cranberries can take a range of forms. Opt for the Serious Eats-recommended cranberry juice. Or, go full-out Thanksgiving mode with Punch Drink's suggestion of cranberry sauce. Gastronom takes it a step further with cranberry-infused liquor. Per Serious Eats, the tart undertones of the cranberry's flavor balance the floral notes of gin and the citrus of orange peel. You'll have a complex cocktail that embraces the sweet, the bitter, and the tart all in one glass.

To make a cranberry Negroni from home, keep the classic ratios in mind. The classic recipe uses equal parts vermouth, Campari, and gin. When making a cranberry-infused Negroni, Serious Eats suggests using one ounce of each liquid. Take advantage of your preferred form of the berry, and you'll keep the Negroni's spirits intact — literally — while altering your drink's flavor and color. Creating a richer, redder cocktail, cranberries may very well become a staple on your bar cart. And, who knows? With this festive version of the Negroni, maybe this year, Santa will get a drink stronger than milk.