Originating in America, Negroni Week is a charity drive by Imbine magazine and Campari which managed to raise an incredible £219,000 ($320,000) last year. For 2016 they're working with 6000 venues globally with 10 inside London. So we've got quite a bit of celebrating to do for what is quite possibly the most classic and elegant composition of booze known to mankind. Apart from the London venues there's plenty to do in the city with events and pop-ups plus it's World Gin Day on the penultimate day. Which sounds like two very decent reasons to drink a Negroni.
Know Your Negroni
Pasta, La dolce vita, the Negroni. The Italians have contributed a lot to modern society. And at last, a cocktail with a history that is traceable right to its very point of inception.
It was 1920 when Count Negroni returned to his native Italy after a sojourn through America’s Wild West. Described as a tough man, he was in love with the idea of cowboys, and was often spotted sporting full regalia. Apart from his slightly odd cowboy inclination, Count Negroni was a fan of drinking and was a regular at Casoni Bar (later renamed Giacosa) in Florence. It was here, just after returning home, that he asked for an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water) but with a bit more of a kick.
Fosco Scarselli, the bartender on duty, simply replaced the soda water with gin. A legend was born. Over the years customers would ask for one of Count Negroni’s drinks, eventually simplified to a Negroni. How do we know all this? Luckily the drink’s origins are documented in Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, which was written by Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffe Rivoire in Florence.
There’s something completely perfect about the Negroni, its balance is exceptional and it’s one of the easiest drinks to assemble. Knock one together and contemplate this phenomenal Italian invention.
Negroni Week - Things To Do:
Duck & Waffle - One of London's highest bars, open 24 hours, is serving three twists on the Negroni. A Ristretto Negronni with Ford's gin, vermouth and Campari which is slow-dripped through coffee, a Truffled Dark Chocolate Negroni made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, dark chocolate vermouth and a black truffle infusion and their Artichoke Negroni with Daffy’s gin, Campari, vermouth blend and an artichoke infusion. They're dontating to Wine to Water. Herron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
Polop - The famed tapas venue on Beak Street known for its young Italian wines is serving four Negronis for the week; the classic made with Beefeater gin, Campari and Cinzano Rosso, the Boulevardier with Four Roses bourbon, Campari and Punt e Mes, the Joe Stellaroni with Beefeater gin, Cinzano Extra Dry and Stellacello and finally the London Negroni made with Beefeater gin, Cinzano Rosso, Campari and London Amaro. They're donating to Action Against Hunger. 41 Beak St, London, W1F 9SB
The Hospital Club - A central London insitution, the Hosptial Club will have a different Negroni for you to try each day. They're donating to the h.Club Foundation. 24 Endell St, London WC2H 9HQ
The Trading House - Set in the cavernous old bank of New Zealand, this eclectic bar are serving a Lady Negroni made with Tanqueray Gin, Martini Bianco, rhubarb syrup, orange bitters and garnished with orange zest. They're donating to One Feeds Two. 89-91 Gresham St, London, EC2V 7NQ
Oliver Conquest - A charming gin house in east London, this cosy venue is serving six varients on the original Negroni, featuring Old Tom gin and even a summer twist with elderflower and thyme bitters. They're donating to Crisis. 70 Leman St, London, E1 8EU
The Lady Ottoline - This modern pub, nestled on a leafy corner in the heart of Bloomsbury, is serving eight twists from a Sbagliato (sweet vermouth, Campari and prosecco) to a Floral Negroni (vermouth, gin, campari, essence of lavender, rose and hibiscus). They're donating to Shelter. 11A Northington St, London, WC1N 2JF
The Henry Root - A neighbourhood restaurant and bar in Chelsea, The Henry Root is serving a classic Negroni using the Sipsmith copper cup for a deeper flavour, a Negroni fizz served long with prosecco and a long Negroni with house flat lemonade, garnished with a refreshing orange slice. They're donating to Battersea Dogs Home. 9 Park Walk, London, SW10 0AJ
Bunga Bunga - This fun-filled Italien restaurant is serving their Clasic Negroni and donating to Battersea Dogs Home. 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, London, SW11 3BA
Three Six Six Battersea & Earlsfield - Both branches of the much-loved cocktail bar are serving seven Negroni options, from a Colombian Negroni using coffee bean-infused Aperol, Colombian Dictador aged gin, Lillet rose, orange peel and homemade orange, lemon and grapefruit Campari tincture, to a Japanese Negroni with Botanist Gin, Choya Yuzu liquor, Campari and grapefruit and lemon peel. They're donating to Create Arts. 126 St John's Hill, London, SW11 1SL / 366 Garratt Lane, London, SW18 4ES
Craving Coffee - Situated at the entrance to The Mill Co Project artists studios this fun cafe throws its doors open late on Thursdays and Fridays and is serving five Negroni twists, from a White Negroni with Boxer gin, Kamm & Sons Aperitif, Nolly Prat Dry vermouth and lemon to their Barrel-Aged Negroni with Boxer gin, Punt E Mes sweet vermouth, Campari and orange. They're donating to Mind in Haringey. Gaunson House, Markfield Rd, London N15 4QQ
OTHER PLACES TO DRINK AT:
House of Peroni Negroni Bar
Regent’s Canal is currently playing host to a floating Negroni bar with a tantalising menu of five different twists on the classic. They've been created by the famed Simone Caporale, so are undeniably delicious.
An homage to the very best parts of Italy - 1 euro coffees, patries and apertifs, Bar Terminin now served four Negroni options, all pre-bottled and created by co-owner and cocktail legend Tony Conigliaro, from pink peppercorn to classic or rose petal-infused.
The Connaught Bar
Luxurious and perfectly crafted, the Negroni here may be a classic but Ago Perrone and his team manage to raise this cocktail to new, lofty heights. Enjoy with a side of their incredible olives.