If you have any friends in the bar or booze industries, chances are good your Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with images of a bright red cocktail the past few days. That’s because it’s fucking Negroni Week! But if you’re anything like me a few years ago, you’re all, “Cool, Negroni Week. But, wait, what is Negroni Week?”
Well, let me tell you: Founded by Imbibe Magazine and Campari (one of the three ingredients in the drink) in 2013, Negroni Week is a celebration of a great classic cocktail, as well as an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world. For seven days, participating bars mix up any old variation on the Negroni they please, then donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
The Negroni in its simplest form is quite easy: one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. And that simplicity is why people love making riffs on it. In fact, I was in the middle of playing around with adding adding some Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur to mine yesterday when I noticed a fellow Instagrammer beat me to it. So then I tried adding some ginger beer instead. And you know what? NOPE. Don’t do that. It was nasty as fuck.
In the end, I decided to stick to the classic, but add a few bubbles in the form of club soda. This is a good addition for Negroni newbies, too, since the drink is fairly bitter. And it’s really not a terrible idea to add something that’s not booze, considering the base recipe is just three different kinds of alcohol.
Even if you don’t make it out to a participating bar this week, you can still play along at home. Just mixi up this almost-classic version, then donate a few bucks to a cause close to your heart. (If you’re anything like me, there are a lot of those right now.)
Slightly Sparkling Negroni
1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Campari
Orange peel for garnish
Add the gin, vermouth, and Campari in equal parts to an old-fashioned glass. Add a handful of ice, stir well, top off with club soda, garnish with the orange peel and enjoy! (You can also just shake the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice, which is what I like to do, then top it off with club soda.)
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