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Virgin Negroni
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Difficulty: Easy

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Makes: 1 drink

The trademark flavors of a refreshing Negroni come from the equal parts of gin, sweet vermouth, and slightly bitter Campari. To make this virgin version, nonalcoholic white and red wines are infused with citrus peel and toasted spices to mimic the gin and sweet vermouth. The Campari is swapped out for the key ingredient, Sanbittèr soda, which is a bright red, bitter Italian soda that makes this drink a satisfying stand-in to the boozy original.

What to buy: Nonalcoholic or dealcoholized wines are produced by removing the alcohol from fermented grape juice, but they do contain a minuscule percentage of alcohol. They can be found at well-stocked liquor stores or online.

Sanbittèr is an imported bitter Italian soda that is similar in flavor to Campari. It can be purchased at Italian grocers or online.

Game plan: This recipe makes 2 cups each of the nonalcoholic red and white wine infusions, which is enough to make 16 Virgin Negronis. The infusions can be refrigerated in covered containers for up to 1 month.

Also, this recipe calls for the use of juniper berries, which pregnant women should avoid.

See more virgin cocktails.

Instructions

For the nonalcoholic red wine infusion:

  1. 1Place the juniper, allspice, anise, and coriander in a small frying pan over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl.
  2. 2Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the grapefruit and add it to the bowl. Add the wine and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 3 hours or refrigerate for up to 1 day. Meanwhile, make the nonalcoholic white wine infusion.
  3. 3When the red-wine mixture’s done infusing, set a fine-mesh strainer over a pint jar and strain the infused wine into the jar; discard the contents of the strainer. Use the infusion immediately or seal the jar and refrigerate it for up to 1 month.

For the nonalcoholic white wine infusion:

  1. 1Place the juniper, anise, and coriander in a small frying pan over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl.
  2. 2Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemon and add it to the bowl. Add the wine and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 3 hours or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  3. 3When the mixture’s done infusing, set a fine-mesh strainer over a pint jar and strain the infused white wine into the jar; discard the contents of the strainer. Use the infusion immediately or seal the jar and refrigerate it for up to 1 month.

For the drink:

  1. 1Place a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.
  2. 2Place 1 ounce of the red wine infusion, 1 ounce of the white wine infusion, and the Sanbittèr in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Stir briskly with a barspoon until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with the orange twist and serve immediately. Refrigerate the remaining wine infusions for up to 1 month.
  • Virgin Negroni
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