The Simple Ingredient Exchange For A Sweeter Negroni

The Negroni is a dry and delicious cocktail made from equal parts gin, Campari, and vermouth, and often garnished with a zesty citrus peel. This cocktail is a favorite for people who like strong drinks rounded out by lingering fruity notes from the Campari. But for those days when you need something a little bit sweeter, there's a substitute you can make that will deliver a satisfying twist on the old classic.

Aperol is an alcohol that is akin to Campari — they are both popular Italian apéritifs. While their flavors are similar, Aperol gets a softness from a light vanilla flavor. This makes it a worthy substitute for classic Campari. Exchanging Aperol in place of Campari might be a good way of making a "starter Negroni" for a palate that prefers less of a bite. Or, if you simply want to change things up, Aperol may be the bar ingredient you've been looking for.

How to make a Contessa

Aperol gets its name from the fact that it is an apéritif — a drink typically consumed before a meal as a way to get ready to eat. Its main ingredients are rhubarb, cinchona (a tree bark), and vegetal gentian root. The end result is a citrusy-tasting alcohol with a bittersweet edge. The other defining difference you'll notice when making this substitution is that your drink will now be bright orange, in contrast to the deep ruby hues of Campari.

When you substitute Aperol for Campari, you are actually making a whole new drink called a Contessa. Here's how to make it: You'll need Aperol, gin, and vermouth. Measure out an ounce of each into a glass with some ice. For the garnish, slice a few inches of orange or lemon peel, twisting it a bit before putting it in the glass.