According to United Nations statistics I’m about to make up, every food and beverage item posses a day of its own. Of course, since there are only 365 days and exactly 206,271 food and beverage items in existence, there’s going to be some F&B overlay from day to day.
The Negroni doesn’t screw around with any of that. It grabs an entire week all to itself and lets other cocktails and liquors to squeak by with only one sorry day. Negroni Week runs June 1 – June 7, celebrating the light, dry cocktail that’s reportedly been on the menu since 1919.
The story goes like this: We’re in Florence, Italy, enjoying libations at Caffè Cavalli. Count Camillo Negroni (just days after discovering he has the coolest name ever) is tired of draining his traditional Americano (Campari, sweet red vermouth and club soda, served over ice). He wants something with a little more kick, so he orders the bartender to push the club soda aside and substitute gin. To fend off crippling confusion of two drinks that look identical in the glass, the bartender swapped in an orange peel garnish instead of the traditional lemon.
No matter the validity of that tale, the resulting cocktail is perfect for a sophisticated summer tipple (if a proper man is allowed to enjoy something that sounds so effete). It’s cold, crisp and dry with just a little bitterness — depending on how much the barkeep swishes that vermouth.
Back in the present day, Negroni Week is an event sponsored by Campari looking to get $1 of every Negroni (or Negroni themed F&B item) sold gets donated to that participating bar or mixology spot’s charity of choice. More than 1,300 bars participated last year and more are onboard as we speak.
Right here, I’ll be reporting in from New Orleans next with a featured interview with celebrity mixologist and Bourbon O star, Juniper Negroni. We’ll see what her take on the drink is soon. For now, go out and snag yourself a Negroni to boost somebody out there in need of a little help.