The Negroni is an exquisitely simple drink to make—traditionally with three ingredients in equal measure, a stir, and a twist. But as with most top-tier cocktails that have a century of history behind them, the boundaries of its potential have expanded over time as adventurous bartenders pushed the formula to its utmost limits with substitutions, infusions, or even additional ingredients on top of the standard gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. To that end— although the classic version is widely considered flawless and appropriate for countless occasions and locales—these days it’s becoming less one specific cocktail and more an entire category of them. It turns out just about any stirred drink with an even share of bitter, sweet, and spirituous flavors can pull off having the suffix “-groni” tacked on to it.
Each June we get a comprehensive look at how far this Italian-born star of the bar has come when partners Imbibe Magazine and Campari kick off their annual Negroni Week celebration. The festivities take place at around 10,000 participating venues worldwide to raise money for dozens of charities. And since we’ve never been ones to miss out on a party for a good cause, our mission was clear: to task three amazing veteran mixologists with concocting their own take on the notorious Negroni (with their proceeds going to charities near and dear to them!).
The result is a Negroni Box that subs out the vermouth and offers cocktails made up of gin, Campari, and exploration. They pull double duty to honor the signature bitter edge and casual drinkability of the original while also forging ahead into some exciting, unexpected territory. Subscribe now through June 2nd to get yours—it’ll ship the week of June 3, in time to help you make it a whole Negroni Month!
Fashionable and modern Milan: it’s the city where Italy meets and mingles with the rest of the world in business and culture. Perhaps that’s what attracted Gaspare Campari there in 1867, to open a bustling Duomo-adjacent Caffe from which to serve his red bitter liqueur in all manners of evening-starting ways. Over the years the city began saying that when it comes to Campari, “try it three times and you’ll like it.” Well, it’ll only take one try with a refreshing, easygoing delight like the Milano from Tony Abou-Ganim of Libertine Social in Las Vegas. He drew inspiration from Gaspare’s pioneering creation with this cocktail to land somewhere in the magical middle of the Americano–Negroni spectrum. The bubbles + medley of citrus team up to brighten the classic gin + Campari duo, resulting in the perfect accompaniment for an amazing aperitivo.
Tony grew up in the bar business and is now widely regarded as a pioneering and leading bar professional. He’s the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails and Vodka Distilled, has hosted Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs, and has won three Iron Chef America competitions. He continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails and operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education, and cocktail development.
He’s chosen to donate his proceeds from this box to The Helen David Relief Fund (HDRF), which he founded in memory of his cousin Helen David, the beloved Port Huron, Michigan, bar owner and community leader. In her name, the HDRF assists women in the bar industry who are fighting breast cancer with the same dignity and courage that Helen exemplified throughout her battle and life.
When made properly and enjoyed to the fullest, a Negroni could start off a night, keep one going, or cap it; forever versatile and adaptable to any season or style of location, it just . . . fits. With this in mind, mixologist Mia Mastroianni has taken the vibes from Turin to the tropics with her Danger Juice. Though it bears a foreboding name (Mia says that hitting a balance so perfectly drinkable it’s called dangerous is the ultimate compliment) and a subtle current of serrano spice, it remains a cocktail full of fun and funkiness with bright fruit flavors deepened by accents of chocolate. Sun-soaked and free-wheeling, this is a new summer look for gin and Campari, and they’ve never appeared more radiant.
With over fifteen years’ experience in the service industry from coast to coast, “Tall Mia” became one of the founding bartenders of the private, members-only club Soho House West Hollywood before going on to open Soho House locations in Miami Beach and Toronto. Her expertise led to regular roles on Bar Rescue and the podcast AfterBuzz TV, on which she shares her thoughts on Bar Rescue episodes and the industry at large.
She’s chosen to donate her proceeds from this box to Fisher House Foundation, which builds comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay while a loved one receives medical care.
For some behind-the-scenes tidbits from Mia on summer drinks, amaro, Negronis, and her cocktail, check out our interview!
NYC bitters wizard Sother Teague took a trip to the far reaches of his cupboards to miraculously find a secret side door into creating the classic, balanced Negroni flavor sensation—without even a whisper of vermouth or Campari. The Pantry Negroni features gin, a few dashes of orange bitters, and a curious elixir he’s calling a “Negroni reduction” made from fruit juices, tea, spices, and other odds and ends collected from the kitchen. Short on convention but long on ingenuity, this all-new build for the Negroni is brilliantly engineered to hit the same 1-2-3 of sweet, bitter, and spiritous.
Sother is the Beverage Director at acclaimed New York bitters bar Amor y Amargo, partner at both the tea-driven Blue Quarter and French-inspired Windmill, co-founder of NYC charity pop-up bar Coup, Beverage Director at the newly-opened the vegan barbecue and American whiskey lounge Honeybee’s, and host of The Speakeasy on Heritage Radio Network. In 2018, he was honored with Wine Enthusiast’s Mixologist of the Year award. His first book, I’m Just Here For The Drinks, was released in August 2018.
He’s chosen to donate his proceeds from this box to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, which creates better lives for older dogs through rescue, foster, adoption, hospice, education, and advocacy.
You can leave your Vespa in the garage, because this festive box featuring a celebrated Italian export is coming straight to you! Sign up today and join us for a toast to the noble Negroni.
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing
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