Sign up for our Newsletter

The Blackberry Negroni (Photo courtesy of Gray Whale Gin)

Three ingredient cocktails are the best. You probably have them on hand, even if you just eyeball the measurements, you’re probably not going to go wrong and, best of all, they’re thoroughly easy to remember. Win, win, win.

Gray Whale Gin founders Marsh and Jan Mokhtari. (Photo credit: Daniel Gorostieta)

The version of the classic Italian sippers comes from Marsh and Jan Mokthari — he, a food and travel pro, she a filmmaker and creative director, who are founders of Gray Whale Gin in the pretty aqua-blue bottle. They launched their California-based distillery in 2016, which a focuses on locally sourced botanicals in the Golden State (also the name of their distillery), and includes Sonoma fir tree needles, Santa Cruz mint, limes from the Temecula Valley, sea kelp from the Mendocino Coast, Central Valley almonds and, of course, the main event: juniper from Big Sur. It’s citrusy and a bit briny, but with a really grounding yet refreshing earthy tone from the fir and mint. Good stuff for summer!

For their version of the Negroni, instead of doing the traditional equal-parts recipes, they go a bit heavier on the gin (which we generally agree with in any Negroni) and employ the richer, almost Port-like Cocchi Dopo Teatro vermouth. If you think all vermouths are alike, you would be so very wrong, friend. Kind of like gin, they’re all their own different blend of botanicals (and in the case of vermouth, fortifications), each with its own unique personality. There’s a nice weight to the Dopo Teatro, and bright, bing cherry note followed by a pleasant, almost piny bitterness that really cozies up nicely to Gray Whale. Good thinking, Moktharis.

And if you’re a real stickler for seasonality, feel free to the skip the blackberries and wait until summer is nigh — this Negroni version tastes great even without them.

You can find Gray Whale at Hamptons Wine Shoppe (62 Sunset Avenue, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-4272).

Print Recipe

Blackberry Negroni

Prep Time 1 minute
Serves 1 cocktail


  • 1 1/2 oz Gray Whale gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 3/4 oz Cocchi Dopo Teatro
  • 6 blackberries
  • 1 orange peel


  • In a double-rocks glass, muddle 4 of the blackberries. Set aside.
  • In a mixing glass with ice, combine the gin, Campari and vermouth. Stir until well chilled about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Strain into the double-rocks glass.
  • Skewer the remaining two blackberries on a toothpick and garnish, along with the orange peel. Cheers!