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Behind the Bar: Gastronomista’s Stolen Negroni

by Kristina Gill

When I first started editing this column a few years ago, I wasn’t big on cocktails, so I’d give them all to my husband. Now each month I look forward to making the cocktails and tasting them. This week’s recipe is a take on the classic cocktail, the Negroni.  This version, the Stolen Negroni, was shared with us by Emily Arden Wells, the author behind the popular Gastronomista cocktail website. I was drawn into Gastronomista by the cocktail variety, and then became intrigued with the person behind it, and I really wanted to know what her favorite cocktail among cocktails was. Here it is – and it’s tasty! –Kristina

About Gastronomista: Emily Arden Wells is the author behind Gastronomista, a website focused on the culture of cocktails, founded in October of 2009. An architect by day, writer and avid drinker by night, Emily and her blog Gastronomista have been featured in print and online including Elle Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Company Magazine, Saveur Magazine, Gilt, Taste, Eater, Coolhunting, Food Republic, EcoSalon, The New York Times, Forbes, El Pais, Heritage Radio Network and in a national Blackberry commercial with the food lovers app, UrbanSpoon.

See what makes up a Stolen Negroni after the jump!


The Stolen Negroni


  • 1 oz Gin*
  • 1 oz Cynar
  • 1 oz  Aperol
  • Orange for garnish

*  Emily personally prefers Beefeater or Plymouth for Negroni-style cocktails because she considers them to be high quality gins that are not too imposing. She enjoys that they both have a dominant flavor of juniper and citrus, but don’t have any other strong flavors that might conflict with the cocktail in which they are used.

Put all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail glass (or in Emily’s case, her grandmother’s vintage cocktail shaker).  Stir well. Strain into a cocktail coupe and serve with an orange twist garnish.


Why Emily loves this recipe: My go-to cocktail is always the Negroni – there’s such perfect harmony in the trilogy of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. I prefer the classic ratio of 1:1:1, and I like it served with a lemon peel instead of the traditional orange peel. I always get really excited when I discover new variations on the Negroni, especially when they maintain the critical balance of bitter, sweet and strong. I had the Stolen Negroni for the first time at Rucola, the gorgeously romantic Brooklyn eatery. It’s a simple cocktail based on the classic Negroni, but with Aperol, Cynar and gin, and is garnished with an orange twist.  Upon first sip, I instantly fell in love with it. I took note of the ingredients and took to my home bar to re-create it, hence the ‘Stolen’ nomenclature. The Stolen Negroni is a gorgeous cocktail that has a bright, fruity and floral flavor thanks to the Aperol, and is a perfect apéritif for the warmer months. I’m a bit biased towards the Stolen Negroni – I served it as the “hers” cocktail at our wedding last September. I wanted a softer version of a Negroni, and I love how the sweetness and the bright orange-pink hue of the Aperol makes the drink more romantic than the classic. When I have one, I’m instantly transported back to that day and all the happiness that surrounded us.


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  • Looks delicious! But, my inner cocktail geek is yelling because you shouldn’t shake a liquor only cocktail. The negroni is a built cocktail, which is actually easier – just pour the ingredients over ice in the glass your making it in and stir (if you want it up, do the same thing but then strain into a stemmed glass). Shaking when there isn’t juice present “bruises” the liquors (introduces air bubbles and makes the drink not as visually appealing).

  • Hi Carly! Thanks for pointing this out. The reference to shaking in the recipe, however, was not Emily’s fault but mine because for a series of styling reasons (I couldn’t put ice in the cocktail coupe, I didn’t have a suitable cocktail glass to stir in, etc), I used a shaker to style the drink. I have indeed changed it to stir well, and hope that your inner cocktail geek will forgive us!

  • Kristina,

    Thank you so much for this gorgeous post. It is a huge honor to have one of my favorite cocktails featured on one of my long-time favorite design websites!! I’m completely smitten with your gorgeous styling and delicious photography!



  • Hi Jesse,

    I got the shaker and ice bucket together on eBay.it. I have no idea of the age or brand. There is no marking on it at all. The metal pieces appear to be brass. Sorry I can’t provide any better info!