Make Mine a Negroni: Where to Drink the Cocktail of the Moment
Let's not pretend drinking a Negroni in London is on-par with sipping one at a side street bar in Venice. No matter how hard you close your eyes, the blood orange coloured drink just doesn't feel the same on British soil. However, if an Italian escape isn't on the cards, it's not all bad news. We've rounded up the best places to getting as close to an authentic campari kick as is possible outside the Med. Read on for where to start sipping...
At this tiny all-day coffee and aperitivo bar in London’s Soho, the legendary drinks maestro Tony Conigliaro is behind the cocktail menu so you know a negroni here definitely won’t be average. Featuring four different versions, a classic, the superiore which is infused with pink peppercorns, the rosato, infused with rose petals and the robusto which sees its ingredients cooked in a sous-vide for four hours for a deeper flavor, each one comes pre-bottled. The result? Served from the freezer, there is no ice dilution meaning a stronger kick, plus you’re also able to buy a bottle to recreate the experience at home.
If you’re looking for us on a Sunday night, you’ll find us at Steve Parle’s Italian restaurant/bar on Kingsland Road. Kicking off on the 30th of April see the return of their weekly Negroni nights. Once service is over at 10.30pm, the lights are dimmed, the music turned up and the negronis start flowing. Here’s the deal, drink six and you get the seventh on the house. Bring more than six people with you and you’ll get moreish lasagne for FREE.
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This carpark rooftop has become somewhat of a south London institution. And when you’re kicking back with a negroni in hand watching the sun set over London city you can see why. This year it re-opens on the 19th of May alongside Bold Tendencies, an arts organization, based in the building who are running a programmer of visual arts and classical music.
£5 negronis make this our go-to post flower market shopping on a Sunday. You can put the drink's apertif promised properties to the test too before ordering one of this pub's legendary Sunday roasts.
As part of their Urban Decay cocktail menu (Watch more about that here) comes the ‘Damp Negroni. Featuring ‘Damp gin', Campari, sweet vermouth and a red ant infusion, which is slowly dripped through leaves, it sounds really weird but tastes really good.
As a rule Russell Norman’s chain of restaurants use the 1:1:1 ratio of Beefeater, Campari and Cinzano Rosso to whip up traditional Venetian style negronis. However, for a twist head to Polpetto, for a Negroni Sbagliato. Sbagliato means ‘misunderstood’ and in the case of a negroni uses prosecco instead of gin. It's said to have come about when a waiter at Milan’s Bar Basso accidenty did it when mixing a negroni for a customer but said customer was said to be pleasantly surprised.
At this Battersea cocktail bar they have a whole menu sectioned dedicated to the Negroni. At £10.50 per drink, they are slightly more expensive than your average but when you discover that all their infusions, syrup, shrubs, bitters and tinctures are made in house, rather than just poured from a mass produced bottle it begins to make sense. Not one to shy about from experimenting with unusual combinations a must-try is the ‘Strawberry & Carrot’ featuring carrot infused gin and strawberry dust and come summer we love the Negroni Spritz featuring you guessed it both gin and aperol for when you're really indecisive.
Just off of Aldgate, you’ll find above this pub a somewhat secret gin specialist bar. Stocking over 300 gins they unsurpsingly focus on exclusive gins and classic cocktails using gin in place of other traditional spirits. They are also experts when it comes to negronis and under their guidance you can even get experimental with a ‘Build your own.’
Any cocktail that can vaguely pass as medicinal gets our vote which is we’re big fans of the apothecary-style bar First Aid Box in London’s Herne Hill. Opened by Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza, the same double-act behind The Shrub and Shutter in Brixton, under the classical prescribed cocktails list you’ll find their version of a negroni that comes with rhubarb bitters. However, after a couple we can’t guarantee you won’t be able to resist the ‘Against Doctors Orders’ section for something naughtier. Think Coffee and Cigarettes (Campari, picon, amaretto, orange bitters, alchemy espresso and smoke) and Smoke the Weed (Peat Monster Scotch, Cynar, Campari, dashi and seaweed).
This article originally appeared on Instyle.co.uk.