Negroni Week launched in 2013, presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, as a celebration of one of the worlds greatest cocktails and an effort to raise money for charities around the world. Over the last two years it has grown from 100 participating bars to over 1,300 and has raised over $120,000 for various charities. In 2015, Negroni Week runs from June 1-7, where bars around the world will mix their favorite Negroni variations and donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice. You can check here to find participating bars in your area as well as follow Imbibe’s Instagram and Twitter feeds (@imbibe). And don’t forget to mix up your own. Here are two of my own variations on the venerable classic.
The first cocktail is based off the Kingston Negroni which was created by Joaquín Simó in which he substitutes rum for the traditional gin. For anyone that knows me, rum is my spirit of choice. For my variation I used a combination of 2 different rums as well as straining the drink through coffee grounds which added a strong coffee note that complemented the drink well. As time passes the flavor from the orange slice, the bitter grapefruit like note from the Campari, complemented by the sweet juicy flavor of the rum and vermouth meld into something truly magical. The great thing about this cocktail too is that it can be batched ahead of time and then stirred over ice as needed.
Coffee Negroni (makes 2)
1 1/2 oz Dark Barbadian Rum (Mount Gay Black Barrel)
1/2 oz Guyanese Rum (El Dorado 12)
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 oz Campari
Stir all ingredients together without ice and then strain over 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. Once strained stir ingredients together with ice and strain into an ice filled glassed garnished with an orange wheel.
With Summer just starting what better way to beat the heat then with a slushy. This one adds a hint of chocolate which pairs well with the strong citrus notes. I infused the Campari with cacao nibs which are the purest forms of chocolate. I based the infusion off the recipe found in the Death & Co book. It calls for three tablespoons of cacao nibs to one 750ml bottle of Campari. I used 8oz of Campari with 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs and infused it for four hours. I wanted a stronger chocolate flavor that would stand up in a frozen drink. They key is to taste your infusion every hour until you get the taste that you are looking for. This recipe will make about 4 drinks.
4 1/2 oz Citrus Forward Gin (Tanqueray 10)
3 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 1/2oz Cacao Nib Infused Campari
1/2 1:1 Simple Syrup
3 Cups of Ice
Combine all ingredients except the ice and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to chill the ingredients and minimize the dilution. Place all ingredients in blender with ice and blend. Pour equal parts into chilled glasses and garnish with a grapefruit twist.