Above: Italspirits ambassadors for The Negroni Experience
Celebrate the centenary of this glorious cocktail with a special week of boozy activities, running 24th-30th June.
Some of the best inventions in history have happened from spur of the moment thinking. So it was with the Negroni, that amber-hued cocktail we’ve all grown to love as a pre-dinner aperitif. In 1919, Count Camillo Negroni, a man about town in Florence, was drinking in Café Casoni and complained that his Americano cocktail didn’t have enough of a kick to it. Savvy bartender Fosco Scarselli made a quick alteration to the usual Campari, vermouth and soda combo by adding gin and removing the soda. Et voila! The Negroni was born.
You may also have noticed the date that Count Camillo made his ground-breaking request – yes, this year marks 100 years since the very first Negroni was quaffed.
It’s now become one of the most popular cocktail around the world, with more variations than you can shake a (cocktail) stick at. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s got a whole week dedicated to its drinking pleasure. Read on for our top picks of these celebrations
Campari’s N100: Cheers to the Count
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Negroni cocktail and to honour Negroni Week in style, Campari has launched N100: Cheers to the Count – seven dedicated parties across the UK, each championing the cultural impact the iconic cocktail has had over the last 100 years.
The fun then continues into Negroni Week with a series of parties and one-off menus in six partner bars across Edinburgh, Manchester and London. These include:
Saturday 22nd June
N100 Club Night: Mixology: The Art of Negroni, Oriole, London
Oriole will be transformed into the Negroni 100 Club, a decadent Italian discotheque that’s the ideal place to let your hair down. Drinks include the Oriole Negroni, Americano and the Boulevardier.
Seated table tickets (including complimentary pre-batched Negronis for the table) are available alongside standing tickets and walk-ins.
East Poultry Ave, Farringdon, London EC1A 9LH. oriolebar.com
Sunday 23rd June
The Rulebreakers – Hoot the Redeemer, Edinburgh
In an ode to the eccentric creator of the Negroni, Hoot the Redeemer will be serving their own twist on the classic cocktail. There will be five on offer, which includes the slushy Negroni Ice and The Skagliato which, of course, includes Buckfast and Irn-Bru. Tickets available here
7 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ. hoottheredeemer.com
Thursday 27th June
N100 – The Classics, Science and Industry, Manchester
Science & Industry is an eccentric and experimental hideaway in Manchester. They’ll be showcasing the N100 classics by getting inventive with a menu that uses their drinks laboratory to create experimental takes on Negronis, Americanos, Boulevardiers, and Sbagliatos.
49-51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA. caneandgrain.co.uk
Thursday 27th June
Globetrotters – Callooh Callay, London
Often regarded as one of Shoreditch’s best cocktail bars, Callooh Callay will showcase the global story of the Negroni. The story may have started in Florence but is spans across the globe and involves Milan, the city of the Bitter, Turin, the city of the Vermouth, London, where Count Camillo used to go, and New York of the Golden Age of Cocktails.
65 Rivington St, London EC2A 3AY. calloohcallaybar.com
For more information on all of the above events, visit https://www.instagram.com/campariuk
Where to get a cracking Negroni during
Negroni Week in London
The Negroni Experience
Whether you’re a Negroni newbie or a loud and proud Negroni ninja, you’ll find something to sharpen your palate on the menu at this must-visit event. For starters, it’s curated by Giuseppe Gallo, one of the most respected bods in the biz. And as the head honcho at Italspirits, a drinks company that champions, er, Italian spirits, this is the best place for all things Negroni.
Try a Negroni flight, inspired by the colours of the Italian flag, book up for one of the many events and sharpen up your Negroni know-how at one of the dedicated masterclasses. Bartenders meanwhile are invited to share a social media post from the event, alternatively they can submit a recipe for their own twist on a Negroni for a chance to win tickets for the Roma Bar Show in Rome in September. Entry forms available here
From 23rd-26th June.
Six Storeys, 11 Soho Square, W1D 3QE. thenegroniexperience
Five-star Negronis at Claridge’s
If like us you take your drinks on the luxury side, you’ll love the five Negronis on the both bar menus at Claridge’s. The hero is the Fumoir Negroni made from a cold infused coffee blend and camomile, served table side and complimentary to all guests at 19.19 each day. Bottles are also available to buy to enjoy at home. More choice comes in the form of the Third Time Lucky, made with raspberry shrub and Laurent Perrier La Cuvée for a delicious twist on the Sbagliato. Or try the Fragola, where Cocchi Rosa and pink grapefruit oil add an agreeable aromatic profile. There’s also the Crown Jewel, made using only British ingredients to highlight the punchy, no longer available Beefeater Crown Jewel gin, as well as the N(e)egroni, a peanut-tinged Negroni featuring Red Breast Irish Whiskey – all available from 24th-30th June. SL
Claridge’s, Brook Street, W1K 4HR. claridges.co.uk
Snacks and celebrations at Cafe Murano
Celebrate the centenary of this quintessentially Italian drink with cocktails and cicchetti. Throughout June, Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano sites in Covent Garden and St. James are serving a limited-edition Negroni menu and cicchetti at the bar counter from 5pm.
The menus will include three delicious variations on the Negroni, including the Il Perfetto, finished with a hint of aged balsamic vinegar and nutmeg. For anyone who wants to try them all (that’s us, then) a tasting flight will also be available. These will be served alongside seasonal cichetti such as coppa trentina, finocchiona and pasta fritti. Because it’s not a party unless snacks are involved, right?.
36 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PB
33 St. James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1HD. cafemurano.co.uk
Crazy creations at Kitty Hawk
If you’ve never been to Kitty Hawk, try it out for size during Negroni Week. Why? On the menu the bewitching ‘Black Negroni’, where Head Bartender Osvaldo Romito has replaced gin with Guinness and mixed with Campari and Martini Rosso. It’s served with dehydrated orange and beef jerky from Kitty Hawk’s kitchen. For further intrigue, order the ‘Clear Negroni’ which contains a separated warm milk wash.
13 & 14 South Pl, Finsbury, London EC2M 7EB. thekittyhawk.co.uk
Homage to Negroni at The Baptist Bar
Head bartender Luca Rapetti has devised a brand new Negroni menu featuring five elegant twists on the classics. Choose from the Passionate Classic Negroni, Theatrical Negroni, Bohemian Americano, Seductive Sbagliato and Lavish Cardinale, all available in the sumptuous setting from 24th June.
L’Oscar London, 2-6 Southampton Row, WC1B 4AA. loscar.com
Floating Negroni bar at Glass Room
Negronis on a boat? Winning! Bateaux London’s marvellous restaurant and bar on the Thames, has teamed up with award-winning Italian dry gin brand, VII Hills, to bring you the capital’s only Floating Negroni bar. Celebrating the centenary of Italy’s most famed aperitif, the Glass Room x VII Hills Floating Negroni Bar will pop up for one month, kicking off on 24th June.
Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment, London, WC2N 6NU. glassroom.london
Italian gin galore at The Coral Room
With walls as similarly striking shade as the famed Italian cocktail itself, The Coral Room promises pure aesthetic joy this Negroni week – that, and an exclusive Negroni menu to celebrate the centenary of the beloved red aperitif. Guests can sip on seven limited-edition bold, bittersweet and beautiful Negronis, all made with VII Hills Italian dry gin. Each cocktail costs £10, and options include the rather elegant sounding Coral Negroni with all Italian ingredients, including VII Hills Gin infused with rosebuds, Cocchi Rosa and Aperitivo Del Professore.
The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN. thecoralroom.co.uk
Wheel-y good times at Harry’s Bar
To tie in with the ‘Year of the Negroni’ the team at Harry’s Bar will wheel a luxury Negroni trolley direct to your seat, whether you’re in the restaurant or the terrace. Now that’s the kind of first-class personal service Count x would approve of. Guests can select from a choice of sumptuous Negroni recipes including a classic Negroni, Sbagliato or North to South.
30-34 James St, Marylebone, W1U 1ER. harrys-bar.co.uk
Negroni paired supperclub from Strazzanti and Campari
Really love Negronis and want to push the boat out for the centenary? This is ideal. Strazzanti have collaborated with Campari and Gin O’ndina to create a four-night only Italian feast of epic proportions. East London drinking den TT Liquor will host Strazzanti’s Sicily inspired supper club for an exclusive four-course dinner, with special cocktail pairings curated by TT Liquor, and floral tributes from McQueens Florist.
Taking place from 26th-29th June, The Sicilian Supper Club will be an intimate and relaxed setting to celebrate the evolution of the Negroni. In homage to Florence, the space will be transformed into a botanical wonderland, filled with delicate trailing foliage, potted herbs, prickly pear plants, and a gorgeous window display of lush greenery.
Each course will be paired with a different O’ndina and Campari cocktail, carefully curated by TT Liquor’s expert mixologists to reflect the evolution of the timeless Negroni. Highlights include deep-fried Primo Sale cheese, with honey and Sicilian oregano, which will be enjoyed with an O’ndina Basil G&T, and a hearty Timballo aubergine alla norma, paired alongside a classic Negroni.
26th-29th June, 7pm-12am. Tickets priced £55. Book here
TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Rd, E2 8AA
New Polpo Negroni Bar with exclusive Cocchi flights
On 24th June, swing over to the brand new Negroni bar at Polpo Smithfield, where artisanal Italian vermouth and aperitivo producers Cocchi are launching a mini-Negroni flight menu. For just £14 guests can enjoy three mini Cocchi Negronis (White, Classic and King) and free-flowing cichéti – the Venetian-style snacks Polpo is known for. If this includes the deep-fried, anchovy stuffed olives then we’re there!
3 Cowcross St, Farringon, EC1M 6DR. polpo.co.uk
Mele e Pere’s Negroni Masterclasses
You can’t have a classic Negroni without vermouth, and similarly Soho vermouth specialists Mele e Pere are set to be an essential ingredient of Negroni Week. Book up for one of the special masterclasses running throughout the week and featuring a different craft gin, vermouth or bitters brand. Included in the price: four sample-sized takes on the Negroni and a selection of small plates designed to compliment the drink.
Mele e Pere will also be giving away 100 free Negronis over the 24th and 25th! All guests need to do is say the phrase ‘la vita Campari’ to receive their free cocktail.
The masterclass schedule kicks off with Campari on Tuesday 25th, Cocchi vermouth on Wednesday 26th; Sacred gin on Thursday 27th; East London Liquor Company on Friday 28th and finishes with Discarded Vermouth on Saturday 29th.
Tickets are £30 and classes start at 7pm. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 70962096
46 Brewer St, Soho, W1F 9TF
Osteria’s Campari Supper Club
To celebrate one of the founding ingredients of the Negroni ingredient, Osteria and Campari are hosting a supper club with a welcome from the Campari Brand Ambassador and a three-course menu with cocktail pairings.
The evening includes a live band, a welcome cocktail and a menu featuring seasonal Italian fare such as pan-fried sea bass with braised fennel, and a Florentine orange cake with milk ice-cream for dessert. Each course and its cocktail pairing will be introduced by the Campari ambassador and guests will enjoy a mini-masterclass where they’ll learn how to make their own cocktail after dinner.
27th June, 6.30-9pm. Priced at £35 per person. Tickets available here. Barbican Centre, Silk St, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS
By Rebecca Milford