If you’ve been out bar-hopping this week, you might have noticed the spotlight on a classic Italian cocktail—the Negroni. Now in its fourth edition, this year's Negroni Week
runs from June 4 to 10, featuring a bumper crop of nearly 10,000 bars around the world participating to pledge at least $1 to a charity of their choice for every Negroni cocktail or Negroni-inspired creation sold.
So, what exactly is the Negroni?
The 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 at Caffè Casoni 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 honor 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.
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 recognized in the Singapore-based International Bartenders Association
(IBA) Drink List.
For Negroni week, bartenders across the world, including 28 Hong Kong Street's Gavin Teravasan in Singapore, have put creative spins on the Negroni in the name of charity.
For Negroni Week, mixologists all over the U.S. have taken it upon themselves to shake up some creative interpretations of this classic cocktail.
At Dante, a.k.a Negroni heaven, they have a chocolate version with Fords Gin, Campari, Punt e Mes, crème de cacao, chocolate bitters and Valrhona. The Fat Radish in Manhattan's Lower East Side offers a barrel-aged version with sherry barrel-aged wine, Lo-Fi vermouth, Fords Gin, and Campari. Ophelia's signature iteration, dubbed Tonk Tonk, features Tanqeuray No. 10 Gin, Martini & Rosso Bitters, Cocchi di Torino Vermouth infused with tonka bean, chocolate bitters, cocoa powder and salt along the rim of the glass, and a dehydrated orange slice for garnish.
The Tonk Tonk Negroni from Ophelia in New York City.
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.