The Best Gin For A Negroni

The classic negroni is a cool cat's cocktail. It doesn't rely on gimmicky or trendy ingredients and is truly simple and not overly sweet. It's balanced for a palate that recognizes and appreciates refined flavors. It doesn't rely on fancy mixology tricks to make, which means even amateur bartenders can get it right every time. When a cocktail rests on just three ingredients, they need to be chosen carefully. Campari, of course, is simple: It's a brand name, which means the aperitivo infused with botanicals is a no-brainer. Sweet vermouth? Easy.

But in case you haven't noticed, gin is having a moment. The array of options can be overwhelming, with styles like barrel-aged, Old Tom, and even seasonal takes on the juniper-forward spirit. Consider when The Ivory Peacock, an NYC cocktail bar, opened, and its claim to fame was its list of more than 850 gins! So, how do you decide what style best suits the negroni? Claire Nafziger, General Manager and Bar Manager of Sofia's Roman Pizza in downtown Denver, Colorado, gave us her expert take on the best style of gin for the iconic drink.

The best gin is London dry from Spring44 Distilling

When asked, Nafziger explains that her go-to style is a London dry gin because it balances best with Campari and sweet vermouth. London dry is both versatile and complex, but most importantly, it "doesn't fight the other flavors." London dry gin is a style made by a number of producers like Tanqueray, Bombay, and Beefeater, and we were curious if she favored a particular brand.

Her brand of choice is made by Spring44 Distilling in nearby Loveland, Colorado. Spring44 Gin is a bit of a hybrid in style, she explains, falling somewhere between a classic London Dry and a New American. Nafziger describes it as having "all of the juniper, with floral notes that remind me of mint, lime, rosemary, and a little spice." Sofia's Roman Pizza features a negroni made with Spring44 Gin on its cocktail list, served either on the rocks or frozen — an ideal complement to the Roman-inspired pizza and snacks on the menu.

If you're choosing one gin for your home bar setup, London dry is the kind that makes the most sense. It's perfect for that batch of frozen negronis but also for other cocktail classics like the Last Word.