The Negroni is a lovely classic cocktail, but it might not be the first thing you think about drinking on a hot summer night. A margarita or a mojito. Don’t rule out the negroni for the season, however, as it is an easy drink to put a summery spin on. My Strawberry Negroni is a great example, but this Tropical Frozen Negroni is even better.
This slushy cocktail starts with the same base ingredients you’ll find in every negroni: gin, campari and sweet vermouth. To this trio, I added pineapple juice and simple syrup. While a traditional Negroni doesn’t have any sugar added to it, this one needs it. It needs the sugar not only to bring out the flavor of the pineapple juice, but also to make the drink creamier. As in ice cream, sugar helps to reduce the formation of ice crystals, so the drink is smoother and less icy. The same principle is true for other blended beverages, including smoothies and coffee drinks. In short, don’t skip the simple syrup! If you don’t have any on hand, you can easily make it by combining 1 part sugar and 1 part water.
The cocktail is not too sweet, thanks to the bitter orange flavor of the Campari, but has a great pineapple fruitiness to it that makes it both very satisfying and very refreshing. The drink should first be blended at low speed to crush the ice, then blended at high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It should take 45 seconds or so, depending on your blender. Serve immediately and, if you have any, garnish the drink with something fun and colorful. Pineapple fronds or pineapple wedges are the perfect finishing touch, but so are funky swizzle sticks and little umbrellas. Feel free to scale up this recipe to serve a crowd.
Tropical Frozen Negroni
1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1 1/2 – 2 cups ice cubes
In a blender, combine all ingredients with approx 1 1/2 cups ice cubes. Blend at low speed until the ice is crushed, then blend at high speed until smooth. Pour into a large glass and serve immediately. Garnish with pineapple fronds or pineapple wedge, if available.