It will always be our #1 cocktail here at Gasholder Towers – no matter what comes along (and believe us, many a bartender has gamely attempted to convince us otherwise.)
The main problem with the pretenders? They just aren’t bitter enough. Even a simple fiddle with an ingredient or two often produces a lesser drink.
And as for other grown-up libations….well, yes, the London scene is undoubtedly better than ever in 2019, with eye-wateringly impressive concoctions aplenty in many a neighbourhood – and yet, call us old-fashioned, we somehow still defer to the classics.
Now it’s birthday time for the pioneering aperitif. For the uninitiated, this equal (stirred, not shaken) mix of gin, red vermouth and Campari came about exactly a hundred years ago back in 1919 in Florence’s Caffè Casoni (now called Caffè Roberto Cavalli).
Affable boozer Count Camillo Negroni stumbled across it by demanding the bartender strengthen his fave bev, the americano, with gin rather than the regular soda water. An orange garnish was then chucked in (rather than lemon) to signify that it was a different drink.
And there we have it. Fast forward a century, and to mark its 100th anniversary, mainplayers Campari are throwing a whole seven days of celebrations – starting tonight across the UK in Edinburgh, Manchester and London. Here’s our choicest happenings across the capital:
Negroni at 100: Top 5 picks
Thursday 20th June, The Vinyl Factory, Soho
Take a selfie in an installation built with Campari bottles, or learn the skills it takes to craft a negroni in a bar built entirely of ice. At the Café Culture bar, guests can learn about where the cocktail was born, whilst sampling Italian aperitivo. Elsewhere finish at Campari Creates to come up with your own twist on the classic. Tickets available here
Saturday, 22nd June, Oriole N100 Club Night: Mixology: The art of Negroni, Farringdon
This decadent Italian bar is serving up negronis, americanos and boulevardiers all night. Seated table tickets (including complimentary pre-batched Negronis for the table) are available alongside standing tickets and walk-ins.
Tuesday 25th June, Jealous Prints: Campari Creates, Shoreditch
The signature East London gallery will, for one night only, encapsulate the creative history of the negroni and invite consumers to be inspired to create their very own personalized artwork. Tickets available here
Wednesday, 26th June, Vermuteria: Cafe Culture, King’s Cross
Awesome new arrival Vermuteria, located in Coal Drops Yard (and our new opening of the year 2018) is an all-day café and bar from Wild Honey founder Anthony Demetre (read more here). A dedicated negroni will be available on the terrace, or try a clear variation made with a rare 1965 Campari Cordial. Wowsers.
Thursday 27th June, Callooh Callay: Globetrotters, Shoreditch
The Shoreditch drinking institution will showcase the global story of the negroni. The story may have started in Florence but 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 the New York of the Golden Age of Cocktails.
Have a favourite haunt for a negroni? Get in touch on Twitter via @gasholderLDN or @londonbelongs_