This week is Imbibe Magazine and Campari’s Negroni Week. Like many other days and weeks that celebrate specific cocktails, this one is meant for appreciation of the classic apertif, but it is also for charity! Participating bars around the country will give a portion of their Negroni sales to the charity of their choice. Campari will then throw in an additional $10,000 to the charity of the establishment that raises the most money.
So what’s the big deal about the Negroni? Let’s take a look.
Back in Florence, Italy, somewhere around 1919, bartender Fosco Scarselli was ready to serve one of his regulars, Count Camillo Negroni, his favorite drink, the Americano. That day, Count Negroni stopped him and asked that he kick it up a notch, and replace the soda water with gin. To differentiate the drink even more, Scarselli added a twist of orange as a garnish. It became Negroni’s signature drink, and so after him it was named.
The Ultimate of the Old Recipes
As a cocktail, the Negroni is not complicated. With just three ingredients – gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, it’s easy for anyone to learn, perfect, and then, if they choose, experiment. Many bartenders will make their Negronis differently for each season, changing up the gin or the vermouth. It’s the original, though, that people rave about. Complementing flavors of sweet, bitter, and boozey make it popular among all whose lips touch it – classic cocktail enthusiasts and new drinkers, women and men, young and old. It is the ultimate of the old recipes.
1 part gin
1 part Campari
1 part Sweet Vermouth*
Build in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a twist and/or slice of orange.
*Many recipes call specifically for Cinzano Rosso, but any similar vermouth is acceptable