Eat, Drink and Give Back During Negroni Week
When Italy’s Count Negroni first stirred together gin, Campari and vermouth to make his namesake cocktail in 1919, he never could have predicted the craze that would follow nearly 100 years later. The drink was pretty obscure until the recent cocktail culture brought attention to it, and today the Negroni is a fixture on trendy cocktail menus across the country — both in its classic form and in fun new creations.
This year, June 5 marks the start of the fifth annual Negroni Week, a global event where bartenders and chefs reinvent the classic cocktail using trendy techniques all to raise money for charities around the world. The Negroni’s herbal flavor lends itself well to sweet treats like ice cream, cupcakes and candy, but you’ll also find some savory plates on restaurant menus. A Negroni-inspired salad? This San Francisco spot puts a twist on their little gem salad with a Campari-based dressing. And a Negroni chicken nugget is coming to a plate near New Yorkers this year.
Coffee fiends can spike their cup o’ jo with the three components of a Negroni infused into local brew. Oddly enough, the connection between coffee and the bitter Negroni isn’t so far-fetched, as we might have Starbucks to thank for the Negroni’s resurgence: The folks at Campari link the growing interest in their bitter product to Americans’ increased tolerance for strong coffee.
Perhaps the best thing about the Negroni is that you don’t need to be a mixologist to make one. It’s 1-to-1-to-1 ratio makes it the perfect drink for the novice bartender to whip up at home. Start with Food Network Magazine’s recipe for the Classic Negroni (pictured at top). All you need is a shot glass, shaker and rocks glass for serving.
Once you’ve mastered that, move on to something sweeter like a FroGroni, a play on the frose trend taking over cities across America. Find the recipe below, courtesy of Julie Reiner at the Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY.
FroGroni (pictured above)
Makes 1 cocktail
.75 oz. Campari
2 oz. Bulldog Gin
.75 oz. Cinzano 1757
2 oz. Lemon juice
1.25 oz. Simple syrup
2 whole strawberries
Blend all ingredients (making sure tops of strawberries are cut off) with 1.5 cups of ice until smooth and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a strawberry and orange twist.