The Enzoni Cocktail is a delicious spin on the classic Negroni, a unique cross between that classic drink and a gin sour. Instead of sweet vermouth, the Enzoni swaps in fresh green grapes, lemon juice and simple syrup. The finished drink is so good -- both tangy and sweet, with a bright flavor from the grapes. It's the perfect drink for anyone wanting to try a Negroni, but a little bit more refreshing!
This is a great cocktail for summertime, with its bright citrus and grape flavors. It would pair really well with a charcuterie board or even pizza!
If you like this drink, you'll also love a Gin Campari Sour, which also uses lemon but uses a sweet liqueur instead of the vermouth. A few more delicious cocktails you'll want to try are the Aperol Negroni, the Negroni Spritz and the Negroni Sbagliato.
History of the Enzoni
The Enzoni was first created by Vincenzo Errico in 2003, while working at the legendary Milk & Honey bar in NYC. Vincenzo was trained by Dick Bradsell, the creator of the Espresso Martini. When he came up with the idea for this drink, he coined the name "Enzoni" -- a mix of his name, Vincenzo, and Negroni. This new cocktail soon became a modern classic, lending a fresh twist to the beloved Negroni.
To make an Enzoni cocktail, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Gin - go for a London dry style of gin. I've used Bombay Sapphire.
- Campari - Campari Aperitivo liqueur is a bitter red Italian amaro liqueur that has a lot of citrusy tasting notes. It brings sweetness, bitterness and a deep red color to the drink.
- Green grapes - fresh, seedless green grapes take the place of the vermouth that would be in a Negroni. You'll need some in the drink itself, but reserve 3 grapes for a garnish.
- Simple syrup - you can buy simple syrup, but it's super easy (and cheaper) to make your own simple syrup.
- Lemon juice - preferably freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
Here are some ways you can substitute the ingredients in this cocktail:
- Gin - if you're not a fan of gin, you can replace it with vodka, white rum or tequila blanco. Each one will bring with it a different flavor profile.
- Campari - try using a different bitter liqueur like Aperol, which is a bit sweeter and less strong.
- Grapes - if you can't get a hold of fresh green grapes, try using pitted fresh cherries or blueberries.
- Simple Syrup - you can substitute in maple syrup instead.
Here are some variations on this cocktail to try out:
- Non-alcoholic Enzoni - if you're avoiding alcohol, you can use an alcohol substitute in place of the hard stuff. Try using Monday Zero Alcohol Gin along with Lyre's Aperitif Rosso in place of the gin and Campari.
- Blackberry Enzoni - try adding a couple of blackberries along with the grapes when muddling. You can switch out one of the garnish grapes for a blackberry as well.
- Enzoni Sbagliato - like a Negroni Sbagliato, omit the gin and replace it with Prosecco for a bubbly and delicious variation.
You'll need a few standard bar tools to make this, including a muddler, a jigger and a cocktail shaker and strainer. Also grab a cocktail pick or toothpick to hold the grapes for the garnish.
I definitely recommend a fine mesh strainer along with the regular Hawthorne strainer (that has the coiled spring). It will keep any grape seeds or lemon pulp from sneaking their way into the drink.
I personally love the bar tools from A Bar Above. They have the best muddlers! Not to mention, their shakers, strainers and even their citrus press juicer are totally dishwasher safe. (And don't forget to use my code, LKDrinks, for 10% off every purchase!)
Start by muddling the fresh grapes in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Then, add in the lemon juice.
Add in the simple syrup, and then the gin.
Finally, add in the Campari liqueur. Then, fill up your shaker with ice.
Seal up the cocktail shaker and shake well, about 15-20 times. Then, add fresh ice to your cocktail glass. Ideally, use a single large piece of ice so that it will melt slower.
Strain the drink into your serving glass. Then, add your extra garnish grapes to the cocktail pick, and rest the pick on the edge of the glass for a garnish. Enjoy!
Hint: the green grape garnish makes a nice refreshing snack as you drink the cocktail! It's fine without it, but it really does add to the flavor if you eat an occasional grape while sipping on this one.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Enzoni is a delicious cross between a gin sour and a Negroni cocktail. It uses green grapes, lemon juice and simple syrup in place of the vermouth.
A classic London Dry gin works well in this drink. You could also try a more citrus forward gin, like Malfy con Limone.
When you have a cocktail with muddled fruit like this one, it's best to double strain the drink. This means you'll be using two strainers at the same time when pouring the drink into the serving glass.
Hold a fine mesh strainer just above the glass, and pour the drink through both the regular strainer on the shaker, and the fine mesh strainer too. It will take out any fruit pulp and also any ice shards that might work their way into the drink.
- Add 5 green grapes to a cocktail shaker.
- Smash up the grapes with a muddler.
- Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, gin and Campari liqueur to the shaker.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 good shakes.
- Add ice to your serving glass.
- Strain the drink into the glass, using both a regular strainer and a fine mesh strainer if possible.