Celebrate NYE with Mulled Negroni

If you’ve had your fill of mulled wine already but still want something warming to toast in the new year, try this flavourful mulled Negroni from Rich Woods, featuring in his book The Cocktail Guy. This recipe uses a water bath and vacuum bag for infusing the spirits. If you haven’t got access to these, you can recreate this recipe at home by carefully infusing the spirits in a pan on the stove. Just be careful not to heat it too much, or the alcohol will start to evaporate.

By Rich Woods

All in favour of making the Negroni a must list cocktail on ALL menus, worldwide? Raise your hand! I don’t think I’ve ever written a cocktail menu that doesn’t list a Negroni. From the earliest ‘Bottled’ version and the foraged ‘Woodland’ variety to the juxtaposed digestif-aperitivo style ‘Ristretto’ Negroni to the über-decadent Truffled Negroni (you’ll find both in the book). So, when I was thinking of warm cocktails, it was given that a hot version of this Italian giant was going to be included. The trick here is not to overcook the alcohol and risk evaporating it.

45 Minutes prep time
3 Minutes Mixing time
Difficulty: Easy

For the Cocktail

150 ml/ 5 fl oz Mulled Negroni Pre-Mix or approximately half your chosen mug (see below)
coins of orange zest and pitted green olives, to garnish

For the Pre-Mix

Yields 1 litre/1¾ pints
250 ml/9 fl oz over proof gin
200 ml/7 fl oz sweet vermouth
200 ml/7 fl oz Campari
100 ml/3½ fl oz maple syrup
250 ml/9 fl oz water
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1 g (0.04 oz) white peppercorns
1 tonka bean, broken
50 g/1¾ oz pitted green olives


To make the Pre-Mix, preheat the water bath to 45˚C/113˚F. Place all the ingredients in a vacuum bag and seal, then place the vacuum bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 50 minutes. Remove from the water bath and set aside to cool, then strain the infusion through a coffee filter or muslin-lined sieve (strainer). Decant into a bottle and store in the fridge until required.

To make the cocktail, pour the Pre-Mix into a large pan and warm gently until it just comes to a simmer (anything more than this will start to cook off the alcohol). Ladle the drink into mugs and garnish each with a coin of orange zest and a pitted green olive.

Extracted from The Cocktail Guy by Rich Woods, out now. Photograph by Liz & Max Haraala-Hamilton.

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