This Saturday (June 8) is National Gin Day. And since we’ve all officially started to feel those summer vibes, we’re going to celebrate by mixing our favorite gin into possibly the best, most refreshing gin-based summer cocktail ever conceived. No, it’s not the gin & tonic (or its close relative the Spanish gin tonic) even though there could be an argument made for that iconic drink. It’s the perfect before dinner aperitif — the Negroni.
This combination of vermouth, gin, and Campari is the zestiest, bitterest, sweetest, herbaliest way to literally wet your summer appetite for the meal to follow. Everyone loves it, including bartenders. That’s why we asked them to tell us their favorite gins to mix into a proper Negroni.
Check these gins out and get your summer cocktailing kicked off a few weeks early.
Oxley London Dry Gin
Sean Stangle, Bartender at Estiatorio Milos in Las Vegas
Standard recipes when making a Negroni call for London Dry Gins, and I’m not one to argue with tradition, especially when it comes to cocktails. When making a Negroni I reach for Oxley London Dry. This cold-distilled gin fights for attention with the other ingredients, which I love.
Paul Walker, bartender at The Dawson in Chicago
I’m generally a Monkey 47 guy but Portobello Road gin really makes a lovely Negroni. Included in its botanical makeup is cassia bark and nutmeg, paying homage to older gin recipes. You can really feel the nutmeg on your chest as you drink it and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in any cocktail I order with Campari in it.