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A Week Full of Bitter Love!

Welcome back, thirsty imbibers! Today marks the beginning of a very special week near and dear to my heart, "Negroni Week." Very few classic cocktails can trace their lineage as well as the Negroni. Though much debate exists on the subject, most would agree there are few cocktails as iconically Italian as that beautiful marriage of gin, vermouth, and campari.

To fully understand the Negroni, you must first understand the Count himself, Camillo Negroni. Born Camillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni in Florence, Italy on May 25, 1868 he was the embodiment of an early 20th century sport. Traveling to the United States at the age of 29, Negroni worked as a fencing teacher, a gambler, and briefly as a true-to-form cowboy in Wyoming. Though he lived an exciting life as a traveler, it's when he ventured into his usual Florence watering hole, the Carsoni Bar, in 1919 that he changed the way we would drink our aperitivo forever.

Negroni ordered his usual Americano in a very unusual way. He asked bartender Fosco Scarcelli to switch out the soda water for gin, making a much stronger cocktail. Other bar patrons eventually followed suit, ordering their Americano "the way Negroni gets it." Spending many years all but forgotten outside of Italy and old-school Italian restaurants, the Negroni cocktail saw a resurgence in popularity during the mid-2000's. We can attribute this to the growing popularity of gin and bitters at the time. By 2008, the Negroni cocktail had finally reclaimed its place as the world's most sophisticated cocktail.

In 2013, Campari created the ultimate week-long event to honor the Negroni while giving back to local communities. That event is known the world over as Negroni Week. Over 7,600 bars are participating worldwide this year, each donating a portion of Negroni sales to select charities. To date, Negroni Week has raised over one million dollars for various charities. How do you support Negroni Week, you ask? It's simple: go to your participating bar and order a Negroni! For your home consumption, I've included some Negroni variations below.

Classic Negroni Fosco Scarcelli/Camillo Negroni, 1919

1oz London Dry Gin

1oz Campari

1oz Vermouth Rosso

Stir and strain over ice.

Garnish with orange slice.

Negroni Ya Ya Brian Maxwell, 2017

1oz Ford's Gin

.75oz Campari

1oz Cocchi Americano

.5oz Sweet Potato Syrup (recipe to follow)

4 dashes El Guapo Gumbo Bitters

4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

2 dashes Acid Phosphate

Campari salt rim (optional)

Stir and strain over ice.

Garnish with clove-studded orange peel

Kingston Negroni Joaquín Simó, 2013

1oz Jamaican Rum

1oz Campari

1oz Carpano Antica Vermouth

Stir and strain over ice.

Garnish with orange peel.

I hope you enjoy making these Negronis as much as you enjoy drinking them. Please sip your Negroni responsibly. Until next time, Cheers!

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