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Bitter Sweet

Negroni Week Begins



In New Orleans, we really don’t need any excuses to drink, but that doesn’t stop us from finding new reasons all the same. For example, for the next five days, we will be celebrating Negroni Week. As part of a national charity campaign sponsored by Campari and Imbibe Magazine, bars across the United States will be serving this classic Italian aperitivo cocktail and donating $1 or more to charity. Here in the Crescent City, the United States Bartenders’ Guild and Tales of the Cocktail have partnered to support the New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation, a nonprofit providing medical assistance to local musicians.

 

The Negroni is one of the most popular classic cocktails enjoyed internationally. Cited by bartenders and imbibers as a revelatory experience, opening their minds and palates to flavors and ingredients never before considered.

 

Comprised of London Dry Gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, stirred, and served over ice with an orange twist, the cocktail is simultaneously bitter, refreshing, astringent, boozy, deep, rich, and aromatic. It can be enjoyed as a pre-dinner aperitivo or as a meal concluding nightcap, perfect as well in a hot New Orleans courtyard in the depths of a summer afternoon.

 

“It is very balanced, a cocktail bartender’s drink. I like mine with Beefeater Gin, Cocchi Tornio Vermouth, and Campari. Serve on the same rocks you stir it with” declares Braden LaGrone, bartender at Cafe Henri. “Put it in a glass and give it to me!”

 

It is one of few classic Italian cocktails. In a culture where beverage and food is enjoyed for its simplicity and natural beauty rather than masking with mixtures and spices, cocktails never achieved the status of wine or cordials. The integral ingredient in the Negroni, Campari, is an amaro. Amari (the plural for amaro) are popular digestivo meant to settle the stomach after a large meal. Made of bitter herbs, roots, and citrus peels, they are complex and delicious. Many are available in the New Orleans market and can found in great variety at Kiefe and Co. in the Warehouse District. Campari is the most popular in the United States, having struck American soldiers during World War II with it’s unique bitter deliciousness.

 

The origins of the Negroni begin with another cocktail, the Americano, named after the American soldiers who were ordering a drink called the Milano-Torino comprised of sweet (Torino) vermouth and Campari (made in Milano) and in their American way adding soda water to the mix. Garnished with an orange slice, the Americano is low proof and incredibly refreshing, a great drink to mix at a picnic or at a festival, no stirring or straining required. Legend has it that a certain Count Negroni, while tippling at Caffe Riviore in Florence, instructed his bartender Lucca Picci to substitute the soda with gin, and the Negroni was born.

 

In celebration of this legendary cocktail, bartenders across the city are serving up classic renditions as well as their own modern interpretations. Check out the recipe for the original and a list of participating bars below.

 

Classic Negroni

1oz London Dry Gin

1oz Sweet Vermouth

1oz Campari

Stir, serve on the rocks

Garnish with an orange peel

 

Get out and drink for a cause! The participating bars and restaurants:The Negroni is one of the most popular classic cocktails enjoyed internationally. Cited by bartenders and imbibers as a revelatory experience, opening their minds and palates to flavors and ingredients never before considered.

 

Comprised of London Dry Gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, stirred, and served over ice with an orange twist, the cocktail is simultaneously bitter, refreshing, astringent, boozy, deep, rich, and aromatic. It can be enjoyed as a pre-dinner aperitivo or as a meal concluding nightcap, perfect as well in a hot New Orleans courtyard in the depths of a summer afternoon.

 

  • 30/90
  • 45 Tchoup
  • Ancora
  • Angeline
  • Arabella
  • Arnaud’s French 75
  • AVO
  • Balise
  • Bar Tonique
  • Barrel Proof
  • Besh Steak
  • Bourbon O
  • The BullDog
  • Cafe Amelie
  • Cafe Henri
  • Capdeville
  • Cavan
  • Company Burger
  • Cure
  • d.b.a.
  • Dat Dog
  • The Davenport Lounge
  • El Libre
  • Felipe’s/Tiki Tolteca
  • Grand Isle Restaurant
  • The Irish House
  • Maison
  • Marigny Brasserie
  • Mid City Yacht Club
  • Pal’s Lounge
  • Pearl
  • The Phoenix
  • Revel
  • The Rusty Nail
  • St. Joe’s
  • Saint Lawrence
  • Saveur
  • Sukho Thai Uptown
  • Twelve Mile Limit
  • Treo
  • Victory NOLA
  • Wood Pizza Bistro

 

Portions of this article previously appeared in NoDef.

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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