You Have Four More Days to Drink Negronis for Charity
We're advocates of starting dinner (or, hey, lunch -- we won't judge) with a civilized negroni, a crisp and bittersweet blend of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. We're advocates of having a couple more negronis after that, too, and not just because they make particularly good patio sippers this time of year. This week is Negroni Week, see, and even if you despise made up food and drink holidays, you should partake in this one: Through Sunday, bars across the world are taking the proceeds from the negronis they serve and donating them to charity.
Here's a little primer on the cocktail to wet your whistle: The drink originated in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century; per the San Francisco Chronicle, one Count Negroni asked a bartender to nix the strength-diluting soda water in an Americano and add gin instead. The tipple spread throughout the world, and you can now find it in just about any bar.
Theo Lieberman, head bartender of Milk & Honey (30 East 23rd Street), says about 80 percent of the cocktails he drinks are negronis -- he often sips one at the end of a long night. "There are two schools of thought on how to make a classic negroni," says Lieberman. "Some people like to put it in a mixing glass, stir it with ice, and strain it over fresh ice. We don't stir before. We build it right in the glass and finish with a twist."
He starts by pouring an ounce of sweet vermouth into a rocks glass, adds an ounce of Campari, and tops it with an ounce of gin. Then he adds a large cube of ice, stirs the mixture and garnishes the drink with a fat orange twist. Using a large twist is important, he says -- he dislikes seeing small twists in drinks.
Lieberman also created the Last Call, a twist on the negroni that won a cocktail contest earlier this week. He took inspiration from his own shift drinks, marrying what he should be drinking (something refreshing and soothing) and what he actually drinks (a beer and a shot). The result is a citrus-tinged beer cocktail that you could pound on your porch all summer long.
Here's his recipe:
The Last Call
by Theo Lieberman
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce cane syrup
1 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce Appleton rum
1/2 ounce Campari.
Shake and strain over ice in a long glass. Top with Dale's Pale Ale.
Ideally, you'll go order that drink at Milk & Honey, and maybe let Lieberman and his cohorts craft a couple more variations on the Italian cocktail. Milk & Honey's proceeds go to Camp Sunshine, a rehabilitation facility for kids with life-threatening illnesses; each bar had the freedom to choose its own charity.
Dozens of bars across New York are participating in Negroni Week. Hit the next page to see where you should order a negroni -- and what cause you'll be supporting.
And check out the gin botanical-infused orange mousse with negroni pearls, vermouth foam, and negroni sorbet at Saxon + Parole, and a negroni crack pie from Butter & Scotch at Smorgasburg.