Celebrating Negroni Week: A Toast to Tradition and Innovation

In the world of cocktails, there’s an art to letting the ingredients shine, and a skilled bartender knows that restraint is often the secret ingredient to a perfect mix. 

As we find ourselves amidst one of the most revered weeks on the cocktail calendar, it’s hard not to get swept up in the global fervor of Negroni Week. From September 18th to 24th, bars and restaurants from every corner of the globe raise their glasses in unison to this iconic drink, all while championing Slow Food’s noble mission for a sustainable and equitable food and beverage realm.

The tale of the Negroni is as rich as its flavor. Picture this: Florence, Italy, 1919. Count Camillo Negroni, inspired by the traditional “Americano” cocktail, decided to elevate it with a splash of gin. And just like that, the Negroni we cherish was born—a symphony of Campari’s bold bitterness, sweet vermouth’s intricate dance, and gin’s botanical allure.

But the Negroni’s story doesn’t end there. Its lineage boasts of captivating variants like the effervescent Negroni Sbagliato and the milder Americano. Each iteration is a testament to the cocktail’s adaptability and charm.

At the heart of this cocktail lies Campari—a secret medley of herbs and spices that lends the Negroni its signature bite.

Consider the Boulevardier, a cousin to the Negroni. For Negroni Week, we have turned up the flavor with the delightful partnership of apples and bourbon. The Campari’s bitterness adds the final flourish to this concoction, making it a worthy extension of the Negroni family tree. Here is the recipe: 

“Spiced Apple Boulevardier 

  • 1.5 ounce Wild Turkey
  • .75 ounce Campari 
  • .5 ounce sweet vermouth 
  • .25 ounce spiced apple syrup 

Spiced Apple Syrup

  • 5 tbsp. Apple Cider
  • 5 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves 
  • A pinch of nutmeg 
  1. In a saucepan, combine apple cider and brown sugar in equal parts.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg to the mixture.
  3. Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Once dissolved, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and strain the syrup to remove the spices.
  6. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

P.S. If you’re new to the world of mixology, crafting a Negroni is a rewarding endeavor, especially for those who value a sense of adventure. With its robust flavors and simple preparation, it’s a cocktail that’s hard to mess up and easy to fall in love with.

So, whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or a cocktail aficionado, we invite you to join us on our Cocktails with Friends podcast, where we share insider tips, secret recipes, and engaging conversations with fellow enthusiasts of fine food and drink.