Born in Florence from a request for a stiffened-up Americano, the classic Negroni’s recipe is, beautifully, not one you have to jot down. Stir up equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, garnish with a twist, and you’ll be satisfied (like so many others of late). But it’s gotten so popular throughout this modern cocktail boom that its name has ballooned beyond a specific drink order. Worry not—if you sidle up to a bar and order one, you’ll be fine—but “Negroni” over the years has ascended to that rarified air of inspiring its very own genre. If it follows 1:1:1 and contains a bitter element, you just might be drinking one!
In 2013, in an effort to tap into the seemingly uncontainable love and creative energy surrounding the cocktail, Imbibe Magazine and Campari partnered up for not one day but a whole Negroni Week! With endless riffs on the drink (along with pristine classic versions), special deals, and charitable giving, it’s been a hugely successful spotlight for this magical ruby-red muse. You haven’t heard? Check out any of the tens of thousands of participating bars around the world, and you’ll find the finest of festivities full of folks casually sipping as the Romans do.
This upcoming month, the initiative is ready to roar once more. And to add to the 2021 fun, Negroni Week isn’t taking place only at the bar! Reprising our efforts from two years ago, this year’s sequel is primed to join the ranks of valiant variations on the much-loved Negroni formula. These gin and Campari–based cocktails (no vermouth required for these recipes), from three Shaker & Spoon star alumni, get to the very heart of the cocktail by either playing around with Italian inspirations or intrepidly spanning the globe from there.
From September 13–19, you can check out a participating Negroni Week venue in your neck of the woods—with the comfort and savviness of knowing your very own Negroni Month is waiting for you back at home! Subscribe now through September 7th to get the Negroni 2 Box—it’s shipping over the week of September 6th, just in time to kick off the festivities. (And we’re getting in on the charitable giving, too, by donating a portion of proceeds to City Harvest—with Imbibe generously matching our donation!)
With the Negroni on one coast and its bubblier relative, the Americano, on the other, Greg Mayer is here to meet you right in the middle. His terrifically refreshing jewel of the Tyrrhenian, the Capri Crush, combines gin, Campari, and soda with a citrus cordial that’s straight out of a scenic seaside garden. Radiant orange, grapefruit, and cinnamon take the many tasting notes of the liqueur and spirit to sensational heights with a vermouth-like complex sweetness. Grab yourself a glass and, when sipping and gazing at the setting sun or stars, you’ll know immediately, that’s amore!
Greg began his career in the hospitality industry working in kitchens as a line cook and transitioned to roles behind the bars of many hot spots nationwide. Now based in NYC, he’s the National Brand Ambassador for LHK Spirits and in-house cocktail counsel for Shaker & Spoon, where he’s also created such cocktail hits as Framboise Thaw, Miles from the Mainland, and Crank It to 11.
Everyone talks about the pasta, but it’s the naturally brilliant produce and market-driven lifestyle in Italy that Caer Maiko has leaned into for this pleasant cocktail. Frutta e Fiori nods to an idyllic summer’s eve in any old place with the tart and juicy combination of strawberries and hibiscus tea–infused gin, but the bright, approachable cocktail pointedly returns to “the boot” with a whisper of basil aroma and balsamic vinegar. Tart, fruity, floral, and bitter . . . it’s an all-new balancing act for the noble Negroni.
Caer is the general manager for DrinkWell and co-creator of Daijoubu Pop Up: Super Asian Cocktails, a traveling cocktail experience that pushes culinary boundaries in cocktails by incorporating surprising, unusual, and authentic Asian flavors while creating a space for Asian people in front of and behind the bar. She’s also a veteran S&S alum with many great cocktails to her credit, including the perfect-for-September Wagtails sing.
Once upon a time, Kevin Diedrich gave the Negroni an Asian-Pacific makeover on his menu at Pacific Cocktail Haven in San Francisco. With touches of tropicality and a buttery finish, the incredibly popular Leeward Negroni certainly made a splash and showcased some unseen potential for the drink to depart Italy to points far and wide.
This month, with a slight adaptation that achieves the same aim, the Pacific Negroni boasts the nutty (some might say popcorn-esque) taste of pandan leaf and coconut fat–washed Campari (an infusion technique you may have recently perfected in the Wavy Colada from the recent Catching Up with Cachaça Box). Jungly and mellow, this duo blends with the botanicals of gin and a rinse of pimento bitters for a sensationally warming flavor. Sip yourself Southeast-ward and ponder: Where will the Negroni go next?
Kevin’s Asian-inflected, whimsical approach to cocktails was most recently and brilliantly on display in the Nippon Cooler. An award-winning San Francisco–based bartender and owner of Pacific Cocktail Haven, Kevin opened his second bar, Kona’s Street Market, in February 2021, quickly making a mark and garnering accolades, such as being named one of Esquire‘s Best Bars in America 2021.
With equal parts fun, inventiveness, and memorable flavors befitting of our featured cocktail, the Negroni 2 Box will be ready just in time for the big global gala. Sign up today to enjoy every satisfying second of Negroni Week or—in this case—Month!
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing
*potential allergens: the pandan extract used within the pandan syrup was produced in a facility that uses milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, eggs & wheat