Recipe Roundup: 3 Roaring-Red Ways to Love Gin Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Considering that the


But this past weekend, that’s just what I did – I mixed gin with three different red apéritifs (Dubonnet Rouge, Campari, and sweet vermouth), in three classic cocktails: The Dubonnet, the Negroni, and the Gin and It.

The results were delicious.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Dubonnet Cocktail
(makes one drink)

1.5 ounces gin
1.5 ounces Dubonnet Rouge
(some recipes call for a dash of bitters, but I left it out)
garnish with a twist of lemon

Here Dubonnet, a classic French wine-based apéritif, is mixed with an equal measure of gin and garnished with a lemon twist. The Dubonnet gives the drink a rich, spicy port wine flavor, with a hint of bitterness (Dubonnet Rouge contains quinine, the stuff that gives tonic water its zip). This cocktail is said to have been a favorite of the late Queen Mother.

The Negroni
(makes one drink)

1 ounce gin
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1 ounce Campari
garnish with a twist of orange (or – even better – a flamed orange twist)

A drink with a story: The Negroni is fabled to have been invented in Florence around 1919, by a count who wanted his Americano with an extra kick, prompting the bartender to add a measure of gin. The spicy, herbal, and deliciously bitter flavor of Campari really shines through in this heady cocktail.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Gin and It
(makes one drink)

1.5 ounces gin
1.5 ounces sweet (aka red or Italian) vermouth
(some recipes call for a dash of bitters, but I left it out)
garnish with a twist of orange

The “It” in this recipe is Italian vermouth. A super-simple combination of basic bar staples – but so surprisingly good, I wondered why I’d never tried it before.

A Note on Preparation: Recipe variations abound. I’ve found each of these drinks alternately shaken, stirred, built over ice in a rocks glass, and/or with an added splash of club soda (especially in the case of the strongly bitter Negroni). But my personal preference for all three – especially in these last days of winter – is straight up in a cocktail glass.

Do you have any favorite gin-based cocktails?

Related: Spotlight on Gin: Some New Favorites

(Images: Nora Maynard)