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white negroni in a glass with orange zest

White Negroni with Suze and Lillet Blanc

A Negroni consists of gin, campari and sweet vermouth. Its trademark is the ruby ​​red color. 

The White Negroni, as the name suggests, is different in both color and taste. Wayne Collins developed the Negroni twist in the early 1990s.

Created in 2001

Wayne Collins invented his White Negroni at VinExpo in Bordeaux in 2001 for Plymouth Gin. A tale has it that he had neither Campari nor sweet vermouth at hand, so he took the French gentian liqueur Suze as a Campari substitute. And Collins also replaced the portion of sweet vermouth with the aperitif  Lillet Blanc.

Myths surround Suze, which is obtained from the yellow gentian root. The liqueur is said to have been invented by the Swiss Hans Kappler or the Frenchman Fernand Moureaux at the end of the 19th century. Who is actually the maker will probably never be clear. What is undisputed is that Suze can replace Campari as a bitter liqueur.

Substituting vermouth with Lillet Blanc in drinks is less plausible, since the latter has a very different taste profile.

Play with Gin Quantity

Wayne Collins’ original recipe results in an appealing drink that is more of a distant relative of the Negroni than its little brother. Not surprisingly, the Brit stuck to its recipe which has all ingredients in equal parts.

You should also try this as a starting point to approach the White Negroni. Subsequently, the recipe may be expanded in favor of the gin to give the drink a certain edge. A dash of Orange Bitters gives the drink a decisive spark of freshness.

Which gins go with the White Negroni?

plymouth-gin

Wayne Collins’ original recipe specifies the triple-distilled Plymouth Gin as the main player in the White Negroni. 

Plymouth Gin is now a protected geographic name. So only the gins that are actually produced near the southern English city can be called Plymouth Gins. 

Such gin is triple distilled and is therefore characterized by a very harmonious blend of earthy notes with delicate juniper and citrus aroma. Its elegant sweetness and mild taste are its most important distinguishing features. 

However, gin fans also like to try out new combinations such as with mild London Dry Gins or Tom Sloe Gin.

Recipe

White Negroni Recipe

The White Negroni is a rather unusual gin aperitif that stands out with bitter notes and an interesting sweetness. The drink has many fans, but also critics in the gin fan community. For this reason, there are already exist many variations with vermouth instead of Lillet or the addition of Angustora orange bitters. But the use of Suze liqueur creates its own unique flavor, which definitely shows potential for Suze in gin cocktails.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: apertif
Cuisine: alcoholic cocktail
Servings: 1 person

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Gin preferably Plymouth Gin
  • ½ oz Suze
  • 1 oz Lillet blanc
  • Lemon twist

Instructions

  • Place ice cubes in a mixing glass.
  • Pour all the ingredients into the mixing glass and stir the drink on the ice.
  • Strain the drink into a pre-chilled glass (coupette).
  • Garnish the cocktail with a lemon zest.

Negroni Variations

boulevardier cocktail for newbies

Classic Negroni

1 oz Gin
1 oz Sweet Red Vermouth
1 oz Campari
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

negroni sbagliato

Negroni Sbagliato

1 oz Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
1 oz Vermouth
1 oz Campari
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

negroni cocktail in a glass with orange zest as garnish

Smoky Whiskey Negroni

1 oz Smoky Whiskey
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Lillet Blanc
6 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Orange zest

>> View Recipe

You can find other gin and whiskey cocktails in the respective links.

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