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Get Ready: Negroni Week Kicks Off September 18th ~ Great Recipes to Drink For A Cause

Turns out that the classic cocktail: the Negroni – an iconic blend of equal parts aperitivo ~ including, Campari, gin and sweet vermouth – not only mixes up a refreshing drink but also mixes business with pleasure, and a good cause: Slow Food International & USA. 

Negroni Week kicks off Monday, September 18 – 24th so you can look forward to lots of Negroni drink creations, coffee brewed with Negroni, and more. In fact, every week can be considered Negroni Week when you can shake up these fabulous recipes:  

Every year since 2012, Campari and Imbibe Magazine, have ahem, “raised the bar” for this initiative.  Today, it has expanded to more than 6,000 participating bars and restaurants throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.  And, according to Imbibe, last year more than 10,000 bars poured their Negroni hearts out to support SlowFood International and SlowFoodUSA’s mission to “foster a more equitable and sustainable world of food and beverage, and to date, Negroni Week has raised over $4 million for charitable causes. Once again, Negroni Week donations will support Slow Food’s work around the world as well as the Slow Food Negroni Week Fund the organization has launched to support community-led projects that aim to transform global food and beverage systems.”

That’s a cause we can all get behind.  And toast to. 

Special Negroni Recipe: 

(Photo: Thomas Schauer)

This is a sublime Negroni recipe from my book, Art of the Garnish:

Negroni Carbonato  – Xavier Herit, Wallflower

This classic cocktail takes its inspiration from the Negroni Sbagliato (campari, sweet vermouth, sparkling wine).

This unique version is updated and served in a handcrafted, Turkish copper raki-drink cooler and glass. 


1 ½ oz Campari

1 oz Byrrh

½ oz Cynar

½ oz Verjus

¼ oz Lemon Sorbet

1 ½  oz Cava

½ oz Perrier

1 dash of orange bitter

1 orange peel

Method and Garnish

We add all the ingredients together and carbonate the whole cocktail in a soda bottle, then pour it into a metal presentation – the copper glass cooler from Turkey, normally used to chill the raki liquor. 

The carbonation is provided by the Co2 that we are adding to the cocktail. We use a Sparkler to carbonate the whole cocktail, then cap the mix inside a 6 oz soda bottle . There is no need to shake or stir; just keep the bottle refrigerated. 

The challenge is to use some ingredients that can last once sealed  inside the bottle, therefore, no fresh juices!

We use the raki glass as glassware because of the copper raki “pool” presentation – it’s its own unique garnish. 

In addition, this way the cocktail remains fizzy and cold, as it is surrounded by the crushed ice. 

The 6 oz raki glass is also the perfect size for the cocktail 

There is no need to use any other type of ice. 

Food Pairing

The Negroni Carbonato is definitely food friendly; it would pair very well with orange flavored dishes, or any main course with meat and a rich sauce.  And tapas-like appetizers. 

It is also a nice aperitif.


“There is a whole story, behind the raki glass and pool,” revealed mixologist,” Herit. Intriguingly, he explained, “Some of our regulars were planning to go back and visit Istanbul, Turkey (their native country), and had been challenging me to make a cocktail with raki or “Lion’s Milk,” the anise-tasting liquor popular in the Mediterranean, especially, Turkey (Not unlike Ouzo.) They upped the challenge; offering to bring back some of the copper raki serving pieces, which he thought was pretty cool, especially since I haven’t seen them in New York.” 

The cocktail caper had a successful denouement.  “Luckily, there were able to bring 10 pieces back to New York.  And these raki drink coolers are heavy!” 

He added, “Not many customers would do that for you… They definitively contributed to the success of this cocktail.”  

An exotic and mysterious cocktail presentation that plays into raki’s link to matters of the heart.

More Negroni Cocktail Recipes:

Luxury Negroni Sbagliato from Fine & Rare

Lavender Berry Negroni from Gelso & Grand

  • A sweet treat twist on the classic Negroni, the Lavender Berry Negroni is inspired by Gelso & Grand’s cannoli. The cocktail is made with Lavender and Berry infused rum, Campari and sweet vermouth, and topped with a slice of funfetti cake and a rock candy stirrer.  How festive is this?! 

Negroncini from Arancini Bros.

  • A riff on the classic Arancini, (my be-still-my-heart/hands-down most favorite arancini — all so fresh, handmade and that gooey cheese…) the Negronicini is made with risotto infused with gin, vermouth and Campari, stuffed with Mortadella, pistachio & fontina 

Negroni Mille Crepes Cake from Lady M

  • A delicious crepe cake infused with the bittersweet flavor of a classic Negroni. 


  • Sparkling Negroni: Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth paired with cucumber and Ikura (Salmon Roe Caviar).

  • Smoking Boulevardier paired with Turkey meatball marinated w/ bourbon BBQ sauce and topped with ricotta cheese

  • CogneNegroni: Cognac, Campari, Lillet Blanc, Orange Juice paired with chocolate truffle covered with cocoa and green tea powder, topped with grated orange peel


Negroni’s Backstory 

A little history about our beloved Negroni, is in order.  

Every great cocktail has a tall tale behind it and the Negroni has more than its fair share.  

According to Campari, the story goes like this: 

“It was around the year 1919 in Florence when Count Camillo Negroni contemplated ordering an Americano cocktail but decided it was time for a change. He requested it with a touch of gin instead of soda, inspired by his last trip to London and its prevalent gin scene. The bartender was pleased to honor Count Camillo Negroni’s request and added an orange garnish rather than the lemon wedge of the Americano to signify the new drink he had created. In Florence, the Count’s ‘usual’ became known as Count Negroni’s Americano, or the “Americano with a touch of gin,” but whatever it was referred to as back then, the Negroni was born. The Negroni is now one of the most famous contemporary classic cocktails. Anywhere you go in the world, you will find a mixologist who can make you the iconic Negroni. 

The original recipe, the perfectly balanced combination of equal parts of Campari, Red Vermouth and London Dry gin, is almost a century old and continues to be enjoyed today. The International Bartenders Association (IBA) lists Campari as an official ingredient of the Negroni. 

But as a cocktail aficionado, maybe you already knew this.  

Negronis are a classic cocktail yet are entirely contemporary, especially as the drink lends itself to being modified, updated, and customized.  

In fact, updated and customized is the Negroni’s iconic backstory. 

We like a Negroni with Tequila or Mezcal in place of the gin.  Adds a terrific flavor profile. 

On the other hand, maybe you didn’t know this as I reported on Negroni Week back in 2016 for my Examiner column: 

According to cocktail history, and Gary Regan, who authored The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes & Lore: the Negroni can trace its beginnings back to Florence in 1919 where the cocktail was born when an Italian bartender Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffe Rivoire, responded to a customer’s demand for more spirited spirits in his Americano cocktail (which is a blend of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda). The guest patron, Count Camillo Negroni, who while working at a very unlike count job in the American West – as a rodeo clown – had acquired a taste for strong spirits.  So the bartender added gin in place of the club soda water and dubbed the creation Negroni in honor of Count Negroni.

It’s no secret that Italians have long loved their Campari.  

I do too.  Straight on the rocks with a twist, especially as a cool, aperitif summer refresher.  

But Here’s the Real “Twist”: 

But what most folks don’t know is that the Campari red initially got its color from beetles or crickets!  Yes, indeed – the carmine red color came from the cochineal insect.  (And you thought eating crickets was a new fangled creation.)  

Campari was invented in 1868.  Sadly, they stopped using the carmine insect in 2006.  But the red color and the herb recipe including citrus and Cascarilla – a tincture from the croton plant (used as a stimulant and fever reducer), remains and is used in vermouths, too.  So you see, the Negroni’s ingredients all are in the same taste cohort:  Campari’s herbs and gin’s herb-packed ingredients, along with the complementary herb and bitters of vermouth – is keeping it in the family of flavors.

However, you can indulge in a true red aperitivo.

Leopold Bros. is a small batch, handcrafted, Colorado-based distiller, who makes their spirit with “cochineal ~ the completely natural dye made from crushed insect.”  

I promise, you will adore this delicious spirit. 

Leopold Brothers Offers a Homegrown Version of Campari - The New York Times

Some of the more divine Negroni shape-shifting/avatar-like creations I’ve sampled at Negroni Week have been noteworthy:

Beyond Tiki – Paradise Negroni – created by Felicia Chin-Braxton, Nitecap 


And this is one beeuutiful drink, too.  Who doesn’t love floating edible orchids? 

Or how about this charmer, I Bleed Negroni – created by Anne-Louise Marquis?

  With this drink’s love of raspberry, it was a pretty and delicious presentation.  Try this at your next cocktail party.

The finishing touches garnish is a sexy tablescape accessory.   

But this Negroni Week creation by Stacey Swenson, Dante NYC could be my go-to Hospitality Drink at our Independence Day party.  

In large part because of the inclusion of fresh herbs: basil and fennel — and especially Stacey’s keen garden-to-glass mixology acumen and prowess to “spank” her basil finishing touches garnish; but also the Prosecco and watermelon ingredients are a refreshing companion to the Campari and Cinzano vermouth.  This tasted like a refreshing, “more, please.” 

Cheers to a delicious, successful Negroni Week.  And to you. 

(Please support your local restaurants, and mixologists.)

Cocktail Napkins

And because every great cocktail with a legendary backstory deserves an equally couture cocktail napkin as part of its style, please check out my hand-crafted Garden Glamour Collection beverage napkins ~ also for a good cause. Cheers.

This artful napkin is so perfect to pair with a Red Negroni!

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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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