The century-old original recipe, perfectly balanced combination of equal parts of all the ingredients used in making this popular cocktail is what makes this drink so special. The spirit we are talking about is Campari and the cocktail is Negroni.
Here are a few facts about the Italian bitter, which you must know before ordering that next glass of Negroni in a bar.
Another Italian treasure:
Campari is a contemporary and charismatic classic spirit that was invented in 1860 but was officially produced in a distillery near Milan in 1904. The secret recipe, which has remained unchanged, is obtained from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water. With its vibrant red colour, intense aroma and inspiring flavour, Campari has always been a symbol of intrigue and pleasure. These are the values that have made the Campari brand famous throughout the world as an icon of passionate Milanese style and excellence.
No Negroni without Campari:
It was around the year 1919 in Florence when Count Camillo Negroni contemplated ordering an Americano cocktail but decided it was time for a change. He requested it with a touch of gin instead of soda, inspired by his last trip to London and its prevalent gin scene. The bartender was pleased to honour Count Camillo Negroni’s request and added an orange garnish rather than the lemon wedge of the Americano to signify the new drink he had created. In Florence, the Count’s ‘usual’ became known as Count Negroni’s Americano, or the “Americano with a touch of gin”, but whatever it was referred to as back then, Negroni was born. Negroni is now one of the most famous contemporary classic cocktails. Anywhere you go in the world, you will find a mixologist who can make you the iconic Negroni. The International Bartenders Association (IBA) lists Campari as an official ingredient of the Negroni, and thus, there is no Negroni without Campari!
The second best cocktail in the world:
Four times in a row Negroni has been voted as the second best cocktail according to the Drinks International cocktail review of bars all over the world. Although the classic recipe to make this drink is simple, it has complex flavours and looks great too. Equal parts of Campari, sweet vermouth and dry gin with the garnish of an orange zest has become synonymous to good times.
Negroni Week :
In 2013, Imbibe Magazine launched Negroni Week as a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes. Now in its sixth year, Imbibe teamed up with Campari to present Negroni Week 2018. From 4th to 10th June 2018, bars around the world took part in Negroni Week, inviting people to celebrate the classic cocktail while also raising money for some great charitable causes. There’s a special website dedicated to the cause (visit negroniweek.com for more information, including a list of participating bars and events). Aspri spirits, the importer of Campari in India has been instrumental in making India the 2nd ranking country in Asia to celebrate the weeklong event across a number of bars in the country. Seven Days, three ingredients and one simple way, to give back. That’s what Negroni week is all about.
Negroni with a Twist:
It’s true that there’s no Negroni without Campari but the freedom to experiment with other ingredients is what makes this a unique and versatile cocktail. At this year’s Negroni Week hosted by Rojita Tiwari at the newly opened resto-bar Typhoon Shelter in Lower Parel, Mumbai some of the variations included replacing the gin with the Chinese spirit Baijiu, and in another one adding a tea liqueur from Taiwan and also had a broken Negroni with Prosecco in the menu. Negroni week is usually celebrated for a week every year in the beginning of the month of June.
Rojita Tiwari is an established Beverage & Travel writer and expert with over 13 yrs. experience. She is also the founder of Drinks & Destinations, a platform specializing in wine & spirits, travel and hospitality themed content and curated events.
Connect with her on [email protected] or on social media @DrinksandDestinations