The Contessa, a modern creation of John Gertsen, a bartender at Boston’s Drink, replaces two of the Negroni’s three ingredients: Campari is swapped for the lighter and more orangey Aperol and dry vermouth substitutes for sweet. It’s more like the Negroni’s third cousin than a direct descendant.

Contessa Contessa
This recipe is more like a distant cousin of the Negroni, wherein Campari is swapped for the lighter more orangey Aperol.
Yield: makes 1 Cocktail


  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 oz. gin
  • Lemon twist, for garnish


  1. Combine Aperol, vermouth, and gin in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Squeeze lemon twist over cocktail and then discard.