The white negroni is a light, summery take on the classic negroni. It’s floral, bitter, sweet and strong, and is the most striking electric yellow-- thanks to the Suze.
That’s the liqueur that is the real secret to the white negroni. It’s an earthy French bitter liqueur made from gentian root that’s a little floral, a little citrusy, and very unique.
The white negroni is a bitter cocktail drink, so if you’re sensitive to bitter then you should probably look to other cocktails for your drink fix. But if you’re a negroni lover, this one’s for you!
what is a white negroni?
A white negroni is made up of equal parts gin, Lillet and a bitter gentian liqueur. Gentian liqueurs are mostly colorless (or yellow), so they are the perfect way to introduce bitterness without the vibrant red color associated with Italian aperitivi (like Campari). In our case, we use Suze as the gentian liqueur, but I’ll talk through some substitutes below.
what you need for this white negroni recipe:
- Suze (or other gentian liqueur)
- Lemon peel
There's also white negroni with mezcal which essentially replaces gin with mezcal. The result is a cocktail that's extra smoky and earthy!
what is Lillet?
Lillet is a French aromatized wine-based aperitif, meaning it’s a wine that has been fortified with spirits and flavored with botanicals. Vermouth and Chocci Americano are other examples of aromatized wines, each with its own production regulations and unique flavors
Lillet is made in Bordeaux, France, and it comes in 3 variations: white, rosé and red. They are all made from 85% Bordeaux wine and 15% citrus liqueurs, then they are aged in oak.
We use Lillet blanc in this white negroni cocktail to add light, fresh flavors and a floral sweetness. Even though it’s fortified, Lillet will oxidize and lose freshness once it’s opened.
For the best flavor, store the opened Lillet in the refrigerator and consume it within a week or so. We love to drink Lillet over ice, with a splash of soda water and a squeeze of lemon or orange!
what is Suze?
Suze is an earthy, bitter liqueur that’s based on the gentian plant. It’s a tall, Alpine flower that gives a dusty, vegetal, slightly floral flavor and deep bitterness to the liqueurs. They are not for everyone, but if you love the bitter edge of the classic negroni cocktail then you’ll love the unique twist these gentian liqueurs bring!
what gentian liqueurs can I use in place of Suze?
There’s a whole family of gentian liqueurs out there, so if you can’t find Suze don’t worry. They vary in their sugar and alcohol levels, as well as their overall botanical profile, but they all guarantee bitterness, the distinct earthy gentian flavor and notes of citrus.
Salers: This gentian liqueur has the most gentian flavor-- it’s lowest in sugar and has the least amount of other botanicals in the mix. The result is a very bitter, drying, earthy liqueur. To use it in a white negroni, consider reducing the overall volume and possibly adding a touch of simple syrup to balance the drink.
Aveze: This liqueur is softer, less bitter and more complex than Salers and Suze. It has more botanicals and more sugar mixed in, both of which mellow out the bitter edge. The sugar also adds a richer, more plush mouthfeel. It’s my preferred substitute for Suze and because it is less assertive (and polarizing) than Salers, and it's a more versatile addition to your cocktail bar.
Because the sugar, alcohol levels and flavor profiles vary with each gentian liqueur, you’ll need to use this recipe as a general guideline and tweak the balance according to the specific liqueur you have on hand.
can you make a white negroni ahead of time?
Yes! While it’s such a simple cocktail to toss together at a moment’s notice, you can also pre-mix it and chill it in the fridge. Batching the cocktail ahead of time is a great time-saving party hack.
To make a white negroni for a crowd:
- 2 cups gin
- 2 cups Lillet Blanc
- 2 cups Suze
- Stir it up with a few ice cubes (important for the tiny amount of dilution this introduces) then transfer to a pitcher and chill until you're ready.
- Serve it straight up in a coupe or in a rocks glasses filled with fresh ice.
more gin cocktail recipes to try!
sparkling elderflower gin cocktail
And if you love this cocktail, try our mezcal negroni!Print
The white negroni is a light, summery take on the classic negroni. It’s floral, bitter, sweet and earthy, and is a striking electric yellow!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: French
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz Suze
- 1 oz Lillet blanc
- Lemon twist
- Combine gin, Suze and Lillet blanc in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass or rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
- Spritz drink with lemon zest and drop in the glass.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 228
- Sugar: 16g
- Sodium: 5.7mg
- Fat: 0.1g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: white negroni
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