Let’s raise a glass to Negroni Week (18-24 September) – a celebration of a great aperitif made up of one part vermouth rosso, one part Campari and, last but not least, one part gin.
It supposedly originated in Italy in the early twentieth century when a member of the Negroni family asked a bartender to add gin, instead of soda water, to their Americano. A new drink was born and it’s been a hit ever since.
Well, we think it was a hit with Orson Welles. In 1947, he described negroni as: “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” We have to disagree with Orson about the gin but he’s right that the negroni is a great balancing act.
The late chef, Anthony Bourdain, also liked the mix of drinks: “I think the Negroni is the perfect cocktail because it is three liquors that I don’t particularly like. I don’t like Campari, and I don’t like sweet vermouth and I don’t particularly love gin. But you put them together with that little bit of orange rind in a perfect setting… It’s just: It sets you up for dinner, in a way it makes you hungry, sands the edges off the afternoon. In an after dinner, it’s settling. It is both aperitif and digestive. It’s a rare drink that can do that.”
The Negroni was ranked no.1 in Drinks Internationals 2023 list of the bestselling classic cocktails at the world’s best bars. “Punchy and complex” and “difficult to make badly”. We don’t stray too far from the classic recipe; we like to make our negroni using our Elderflower and Quince Gin, Aperol and some blood orange and ginger syrup. And we’re not alone in being creative with the ingredients. It’s fun to play around with and mix up the flavours a bit – sloe gin, coffee or spiced tea, anyone? You can even make a version with rum. Hmm… maybe we’ll try that last one!
However you like your Negroni, enjoy a glass or two during Negroni Week.