The Negroni has been a beloved and recognized cocktail worldwide since its creation. It is a classic and timeless drink associated with sweet and bitter flavors and combines three ingredients in precise proportions. A cocktail of perfect balance. Its history and popularity have led to an unlimited number of variations, versions, and riffs using all sorts of ingredients, formats, and techniques. The Negroni is a symbol of classic mixology and now more than ever a staple in the modern and craft cocktail world.
At the time that Sherry Week was launched, Negroni Week emerged too. Independently, both weeks were created to celebrate the culture around these two icons. For Sherry week, November was chosen to admire diversity and versatility of these wines through cocktails, food pairings, and many different events such as tastings. Negroni Week, taking place every September, was launched to celebrate this renown cocktail while aiming to raise money for charitable causes around the world.
Reading time: 4.5 Minutes
Author: The House of Lustau
The classic Negroni has been a beloved and recognized cocktail worldwide since its creation. It is a classic and timeless drink associated with sweet and bitter flavors and combines three ingredients in precise proportions. A cocktail of perfect balance. Its history and popularity have led to an unlimited number of variations, versions, and riffs using all sorts of ingredients, formats, and techniques. The Negroni is a symbol of classic mixology and now more than ever a staple in modern and craft cocktail world.
At the same time that Sherry Week was launched, Negroni Week emerged too. Independently, both weeks were created to celebrate culture around these two icons. The former chooses the first or second week of November to praise diversity and versatility of these wines among consumers through cocktails, pairings, and many different events that offer consumers tasting opportunities. The latter takes place every September, with similar aim and generating funds for Slow Food around the globe.
<strong>Reading time</strong> 4.5 Minutes<strong>Author:</strong> The house of Lustau<strong>Date:</strong> 09/19/2023<strong>Category:</strong> Blog
Origins of the negroni cocktail
The Negroni calls for three ingredients: gin, bitter aperitivo (generally Campari), and vermouth in equal parts. Served in a rock glass and garnished with an orange peel. Despite its apparent simplicity, the combination of the spiced notes from the vermouth, the bitterness of the Italian aperitivo and the dry nuances of the gin all create a complex and unique combination of flavors and textures. It’s a sophisticated cocktail with the vermouth contributing to the cocktail’s overall personality.
Although its origin is not entirely clear, the most widely spread and accepted version is that the cocktail was created in Florence in 1919 at the Café Casoni. A member of the Negroni family asked the café’s bartender to give his drink a “kick” by substituting the soda water in his Americano cocktail with gin. After this twist, the drink began to make its way through the cafes and bars of the city and the region under the name Negroni. It became so popular that the Negroni family themselves, capitalizing on the drink’s success, started selling an already bottled version of the cocktail called Antico Negroni 1919. This was probably the earliest (RTD) ready-to-drink Negronis in cocktail history and one of the first for the beverage industry. On the other hand, On the other hand, another alternative origin supported by the descendants of the Count of Negroni conveys that he created the drink in 1857 while in Senegal. Even so, there are multiple theories, articles, and stories that argue for other origins. What can be fairly stated is that this cocktail has been enjoyed and appreciated around the world and rapidly growing in popularity after being created.
Type of Negroni cocktails and variations
The three ingredients used in this timeless recipe are also quite prominent in the cocktail. Gin, bitter and sweet red vermouth. Red vermouth, due to the wide variety of botanicals, base wines, and production methods, contributes significantly to the Negroni’s personality. Vermouth is responsible for the spicy, sweet, and sometimes herbal or earthy flavors of this cocktail. This leads to the many expressions of the Negroni, different even when using the exact proportions and ingredients from the original recipe, due to brand recipe variations.
Just three Ingredients: Bitter, Gin and Vermouth. Perfectly balanced for an amazing sensorial experience.
Lustau and the Negroni World: Much More than one can expect.
The Negroni goes beyond its own legacy. Mezcal, aged rum, brandy de Jerez, sparkling white wine. White or rosé variations or just simply served with or without ice. Negroni gathers around itself a never-ending list of greatly crafted riffs that bring together infinite takes and styles for every personal preference. However, the structure of the classic recipe has remained the same in the majority of the cases.
When it comes to the sherry universe it must be highlighted that not only sherry wine based vermouth finds its place in this cocktail, both sherry wine itself and brandy de Jerez can also seamlessly be part of this legend. The diversity of flavors, textures, aromas, and structures they bear provide the outstanding nuances to reimagine both original recipe and latter versions, giving them a different identity.
Lustau Vermut in Negroni: Key and fundamental in classic mixology and bartending, vermouth has lately become a respected and esteemed category inside and outside of the cocktail world. The Jerez region, due to its long history and being strongly influenced by Mediterranean culture, has had vermouth and other aromatized wines as a drink to be enjoyed in multiple formats and contexts, not only as a cocktail ingredient. Therefore, base wine was key in the region to achieve a level of roundness and keep a balance of flavors and aromas. Currently, Lustau Vermut Rojo is one of the few examples of the uncommon sherry-based vermouths available from the region contributing (now coming back to the Negroni) to a rounder, spicier profile with a slightly less bitter aftertaste. The wine base of Lustau Vermut Rojo, comprising a structured amontillado and a fruity pedro ximénez, leads to a velvety texture, making the Negroni an even more elegant cocktail.
Other styles of vermouth such as white or rosé have their place too. Negroni variations such as the White or Rosé Negroni call for different style ingredients hence the importance of the whole collection.
Sherry wine in Negroni: Biologically aged sherry wines can complement or replace the gin in this cocktail. Finos and manzanilla, and their dry, nutty character can balance the botanical profile of gin while maintaining the cocktail’s structure. Oxidative wines such as oloroso, amontillado or palo cortado are perfect ingredients for variations like the Boulevardier (a recipe that substitutes gin with whisky). The fruitier expressions, such as East India, show aromas and flavors that perfectly complement the bitterness of the Negroni creating a majestic rounded sensation on the palate.
Brandy de Jerez in Negroni: While it may not initially fit with the original and more conventional recipe, it’s a great ingredient to include in the Boulevardier or to remake the famous East India Negroni making it even more closely bound to a sherry-oriented personality. In any case, by using Lustau Brandy Solera Reserva, which is nuttier and lighter than older styles such as Gran Reserva, will be an ideal rendition for a Negroni with a smokier character.
For many years now, Lustau has been gathering and creating recipes where sherry wine, vermut, and brandy de Jerez help increasing and elevating culture surrounding the Negroni. Get to know some of Lustau’s some Negroni recipes of the collection below:
Created by Wayne Collins in 2001, the White Negroni found its way as a modern classic when it appeared in the craft cocktail scene. Our take on this new-aged icon uses a split base of both gin and biological sherry wine that lowers the ABV while adding another layer of complexity.
Check it out here and discover more about this modern alternative of the Negroni.
East India Negroni
This equal parts cocktail made up of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth has taken the world by storm over the last couple of decades and has since undergone many transformations and variations. In our East India Negroni, we have decided to use rum instead of gin, and cream sherry instead of sweet vermouth, which creates a rich and delicate take on this beloved classic, creating the Negroni cocktail with rum and sherry.
Check it out here and discover more about this cocktail or just watch the video for a quick tutorial.
When is negroni week 2023?
Remember: Negroni Week 2023 is celebrated from September 18th to 24th and thereafter every September. However, if you consider yourself a fan of the Negroni, you can celebrate it whenever you want. Anywhere, anytime and with anyone you would like to. Just save your favorite recipes and enjoy them as you like.