If you’ve been out bar-hopping this week, you might have noticed the spotlight on a classic Italian cocktail — the Negroni. The fourth edition of Negroni Week in Singapore runs from 4 to 10 June, featuring a bumper crop of over 80 bars participating to pledge at least $1 to a charity of their choice for every Negroni cocktail or Negroni-inspired creation sold.
But what exactly is a Negroni?
This continental cocktail is iconically Italian, conjuring up images of sun-dappled verandas and summertime rides on a cute Vespa. It is said that the Negroni originated in Florence around the year 1919, when Count Camillo Negroni, inspired by London’s then-prevalent gin scene, decided to order a new spin on his usual Americano — a cocktail composed of Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda — and requested it with a touch of gin instead of soda.
The bartender was pleased to honour his request and added an orange garnish rather than the lemon wedge of the Americano to signify the strong new drink he had created. In Florence, the Count’s “usual” became known as Count Negroni’s Americano, and eventually, the Negroni, adopted by the Italians as a pre-dinner aperitif or a palate-cleanser after.
Today, the Negroni is one of the most famous contemporary cocktails and its official recipe of equal parts Campari, gin and sweet red vermouth is recognised in the International Bartenders Association (IBA) Drink List.
For Negroni week, bartenders across Singapore like 28 Hong Kong Street's Gavin Teravasan have put creative spins on the Negroni in the name of charity.
For Negroni Week, mixologists all over Singapore have taken it upon themselves to shake up some creative interpretations of this classic cocktail.
At 28 Hong Kong Street, Gavin Teravasan has paired home-made jackfruit-infused rum and cacao nib with sweet vermouth and Campari for a tropical twist, while Faizalo Indienur at CÉ LA VI elevates the classic Negroni by ageing a concoction of Campari, gin and red vermouth in an oak barrel. The result is an intense, woody and jammy Negroni. Palmira Bertuca of Marcello channels her Italian heritage with the Limonegroni, balancing the bitterness of Campari with the piquant tanginess of homemade Limoncello.
Palmira Bertuca's Limonegroni, available at Marcello.
Click here for a list of participating bars for Negroni Week 2018.
According to the official IBA Drink List
3cl Sweet Red Vermouth
1. Pour all the ingredients directly into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
2. Stir gently.
3. Garnish with half an orange slice.
Rachel Tan is the Associate Digital Editor at the MICHELIN Guide Digital. A former food magazine writer based in Singapore, she has a degree in communications for journalism but is a graduate of the school of hard knocks in the kitchen. She writes to taste life twice.
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