The White Negroni is a fun twist on this classic drink! The bright yellow color and light floral flavor come from Lillet Blanc and Suze.

White negroni

Here’s a twist on the classic cocktail that every adventurous drinker needs to try: the White Negroni! This lighter spin on a Negroni and has a vibrant, clear yellow color that’s unmistakable. And the flavor? Light, a little floral, still bitter, but decidedly more interesting than the classic (in our opinion). It requires a few special ingredients, but they’re absolutely worth adding to your collection. Here’s how to make it!

What’s a White Negroni?

The White Negroni is a spin on the classic Negroni: instead of fiery red, it’s bright yellow and has a lighter flavor. It swaps out two ingredients: in place of the Campari it’s Suze, a French bitter aperitif liqueur. In place of the sweet vermouth, this drink uses Lillet Blanc, a fortified wine.

The White Negroni was invented in 2001 when a British bartender in France, Wayne Collins, went to whip up a Negroni. Apparently he couldn’t find Campari or sweet vermouth so he reached for Suze and Lillet Blanc instead (source). Whether the specifics are true or not, you end up with a carefree spin that we like better than a Negroni itself. The ingredients in a White Negroni are equal parts:

  • Gin
  • Suze
  • Lillet blanc or blanc vermouth
How to make a white negroni

How to make a White Negroni (basic steps)

The White Negroni is easy to make and memorize: use just 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of each of the elements above. You don’t even need a cocktail shaker. Simply stir it together in a cocktail mixing glass, or any glass you have on hand. Here are the basic steps:

  • Mix. Add the ingredients to a mixing glass with 1 handful of ice and stir for 30 seconds. This chills the cocktail and dilutes it less than shaking in a cocktail shaker would.
  • Strain and serve. Strain into a lowball glass filled with ice.
White negroni

All about Suze

You might be wondering: what’s Suze? Suze is a French bitter aperitif made from the gentian root, a plant that grows in Switzerland and France. It was first put into production in 1889, so it’s a liqueur with a history. In fact, Pablo Picasso once made a collage showing a Suze bottle!

The flavor of Suze is a little bitter and a little sweet, with citrus undertones. It’s fantastic in a White Negroni, and you can also drink it on the rocks with a lemon peel, or with soda water and a squeeze of lemon.

All about Lillet!

Lillet Blanc is a staple in our liquor cabinet and absolutely worth snagging a bottle. How to pronounce it? “Li-lay.” Lillet is a French aperitif: an aromatized wine that’s flavored with herbs and citrus. There are are several types of Lillet made of different wines: Lillet Blanc, Lillet Rosé and Lillet Rouge. The flavor of Lillet Blanc is light, with subtle floral and herbal notes. It’s like a dry white vermouth, but sweeter wtih a more intriguing herbal flavor.

You can keep a bottle of Lillet in your fridge for about 3 months. Use it to mix up a Lillet Spritz or the Vesper Martini.

Other option: Blanc Vermouth

There’s another option in the White Negroni instead of Lillet Blanc: blanc vermouth! When it comes to vermouth, most people know two main types: sweet red vermouth and dry white vermouth. But did you know there’s a third type of vermouth?

Blanc vermouth is a semi sweet white vermouth: it’s both dry like white vermouth and sweet like red vermouth. The flavor is floral with hints of vanilla, and a subtle bitterness on the finish. You can find a bottle for about $16, and it’s a great addition to your liquor collection (plus, then you can make the Cuban classic, El Presidente).

White Negroni

Step it up with clear ice!

If you really want to make your White Negroni stand out…make it with clear ice! Clear ice is artisan style ice that’s crystal clear, instead of cloudy like normal ice. It’s easy to make at home and you can cut it into more organic shapes that look like you got your drink at a fancy bar. All you need is 24 hours and a small cooler! Here’s how to make clear ice.

More Negroni variations

There are so many Negroni variations! After you make the White Negroni, here are a few more well-known variations to try:

When to serve a White Negroni

The White Negroni cocktail is unique cocktail that’s bound to impress! It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Before dinner drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
Print
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White negroni

White Negroni (A Modern Classic!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The White Negroni is a fun twist on this classic drink! The bright yellow color and light floral flavor come from Lillet Blanc and Suze.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin*
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Suze
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Lillet Blanc or blanc vermouth
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • For the garnish: Lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Combine the gin, Suze and Lillet Blanc in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  2. Add ice to a lowball glass, and strain the drink into the glass (or you can use a cocktail glass without ice).
  3. Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the lemon peel. Squeeze the lemon peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: White negroni

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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