The word on the street is that 2011 will be remembered as the “Year of the Negroni.” Long a favorite of cocktail cognoscenti, it’s authentically made with Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in equal parts. Its break-out moment will be at this weekend’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic.
Campari, the legendary one-of-a-kind red spirit, announced yesterday that it is naming 2011 as “The Year of the Negroni” in homage to this timeless tipple at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s Gala event today, Friday, May 13. Authentically made with Campari, the Negroni ranks with the Martini and the Manhattan in the libation pantheon. Indeed, the drink has aristocratic roots and was created by an actual Count Camillo Negroni, who asked that gin be added to strengthen his usual Americano, a time-honored drink made with Campari and sweet vermouth. Since that day, the Negroni has become Italy’s signature cocktail that is emblematic of urbane sophistication.
New York-based libations guru Jim Meehan of PDT and cocktail caterers Chad Solomon & Christy Pope of Cuffs and Buttons will be stirring up their takes on this Italian classic during this five-day festival dedicated to libation appreciation in three of the city’s boroughs.
Here are the recipes for Chad & Christy’s favorite classic Negroni and Jim’s creative riff:
The Classic Negroni (Chad & Christy)
1 oz Campari
1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
Add ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass with new ice. Garnish with an orange rind.
East Indian Negroni (Jim Meehan)
2 oz Banks 5-Island Rum
¾ oz Campari
¾ oz Lustau East India Sherry
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass, then add ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with one large cube. Garnish with an orange twist.
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is a five-day celebration of everything cocktail-related. Part festival, part fête, part conference, part cocktail party – the Manhattan Cocktail Classic is an annual celebration of the myriad points of intersection between cocktails and culture. With over one hundred events spread across five days and five boroughs, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic offers a vast array of unique experiences to enthusiasts and professionals alike, expanding the very definition of what constitutes a “cocktail event.” It will get off to a flying start today, Friday, May 13, with its legendary Gala event held within the marble walls of the esteemed New York Public Library. The Gala attracts thousands of stylish cocktail mavens from Gotham and beyond.
Tony Abou-Ganim (“The Modern Mixologist”), one of the world’s top bartenders, will stir up definitive renditions of the true, original Negroni — equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth. When not mixing drinks and organizing cocktail programs, Tony travels the world teaching professional barmanship, spirits knowledge and cocktail history. He is an accomplished author and winner of Iron Chef America’s “Battle Mango” against Chef Mario Batali. For more information and to purchase tickets to the events and seminars, please visit www.manhattancocktailclassic.com.