How to get your Negroni on for Negroni Week
Not that we need any excuse to drink this classic cocktail containing equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. But hey, when there's a whole week dedicated to the cause AND when said drinking is for charity, we consider it our duty to get our Negroni on.
Here's the deal. First launched in 2013 by bar magazine Imbibe and Campari to celebrate the cocktail and raise money for charitable causes at the same time, the latter happens via a bunch of participating bars donating a portion of the sale of each Negroni sold at their establishment to their charity of choice. Fast forward 3 years later, and there's well over 5000 venues from over 36 countries participating. Australia is one of them and Sydney has seen a good number sign up for the cause. Not only that, Campari Australia has pledged to donate $5,000 to the charity of the top fundraising bar in Australia so get drinking!
For a list of participating venues in Sydney, check out the list here but here's our pick of what you should be doing between 6 and 12 June this year for Negroni Week.
GO BACK TO YOUR (ITALIAN) ROOTS
The popular story goes that the Negroni was invented at Casoni Bar in Florence when one Count Camillo Negroni asked the bartender to give his Americano cocktail (equal parts Campari, vermouth and soda) a bit of a kick. The bartender responded by subbing the soda with gin and the rest as they say, is history.
In Sydney, you can make like Count Negroni and head to Casoni Bar (no relation to the original) where alongside their popular Negronis on tap, they're also serving up barrel-aged and cold-drip Negronis all week long. Or hightail it to another Italian favourite, Besser Italian in Surry Hills who are also doing barrel aged Negronis, which you can wash down with Nonna's tagliatelle and their popular risotto of the day.
On June 12, make it a priority to be at Maybe Frank who are putting on a Negroni Auction. Yep, from 4 pm, they've got a line up of visiting startenders who'll make and action their take on this cocktail. As the guys say, save some coin in your pocket and spend 'em on a good twist for a good cause (which in this case, is the Sydney Children's Hospital)!
EAT YOUR NEGRONI
If drinking at 10 am isn't your thing, then you'll be pleased to know you can now eat your negroni. Yessir, cult coffee joint Brewtown Newtown has come up with a NEGRONI BREWNUT for the week.
This croissant-doughnut hybrid comes coated in a blood orange sugar, topped with a lightly bitter Negroni cream, and finished with blood orange meringue, Campari gelée and dehydrated citrus. Kill us now (from the sugar high).
For something a little less decadent (but no less delicious), try and get your hands on the Breakfast Negroni marmalade pumped out by the folks at Four Pillars gin (see below).
NEGRONI WITH A VIEW
LEARN HOW TO MAKE IT
If you want to get the lowdown on how to make the perfect Negroni, head to Hazy Rose who are putting on the ultimate "How-to" Negroni workshop, in partnership with Australian gin brand West Winds. Be taken through the history of the negroni, learn a little about what makes craft gin in Australia different to London dry and how to make the perfect negroni. For $45 a head, you'll get a welcome gin and tonic, equipment to make your own Negroni, samples of Australian Gin to take home and food. Plus 20% of all ticket sales will go to a charity close to The Hazy Rose team's heart, The Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit organisation and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Get your tickets here
MAKE YOUR OWN AT HOME
If this rain gets you down, lift your spirits at home with your own house made Negroni. And what better gin to use than one made specifically to be used in the Negroni? They might not be from Sydney but we'll forgive them that transgression because Victorian distillers Four Pillars came up with a stonkingly good Spiced Negroni Gin as part of their Bartenders Series last year.
Distilled for and in conjunction with the Keystone Group (who're behind bars like the Rook, Gazebo, Winery and the Loft), you can now get your mitts on the gin and make like a bartender at home. For a break from the drinking, try the Breakfast Negroni marmalade that's made from leftover oranges used in the Four Pillars gin distillation process. Spread it on toast, eat it by the spoonful - it's a great way to kick start your day.
And let's not forget gin and Campari's partner in crime, vermouth. If you've always been bewildered by the different types of vermouth out there, join us at our workshop on Tuesday 7 June where you'll even learn how to make your own. Get your skates on here
HAPPY IMBIBING EVERYONE!