Did you know that it’s Negroni Week? Did you know that there’s an entire week dedicated to drinking easy-to-make cocktails and it’s not called ‘lockdown week 12’? Me neither, and yet here we are.
Negroni Week, which has run from September 13 to 19 around the world since 2013, is both a celebration of the cocktail and a fundraising event. This year, however, it’s a little bit trickier to head to your fave bar of choice and order something fancy in the name of charity.
So instead, Campari tapped 55 bartenders from cocktail bars across Australia and New Zealand to come up with a twist on the classic cocktail, and then popped them all in a book.
Obviously 55 is a LOT to get through (although you can download the book for free here), so I’ve torn through it for the ones I’m definitely trying ASAP. That’s the lockdown spirit, baby.
The Enzo, from Double Deuce Lounge’s Oliver Churcher (Sydney)
I love a cocktail that screams simple yet chaos. This has all the hallmarks of a classic Negroni with a “spicy edge”.
- 30ml Campari
- 30ml Cognac
- 30ml Vermouth Rosso
- 1 dash of Absinthe
Chuck it into a glass over ice, stir, and garnish with orange zest.
The Local Pear, from Rude Boy’s Rohan Massie (Tasmania)
You know what fruit doesn’t get enough love? The humble pear. This one requires you to make your own pear ice cubes, which is a lockdown project vibe.
- 100 ml Clarified pear juice
- 50ml Verjuice infused with dehydrated celery (you can buy this if you don’t actually own a dehydrator)
Combine that together, pour into an ice cube tray, freeze it overnight, and the next day use it in your Negroni instead of regular ice. Garnish with an edible nasturtium leaf.
Not So Bambino, from Old Mates’ Brittany Rowe (Sydney)
I picked this one for two reasons: it sounds like a summer salad in cocktail form, and you need sourdough to complete it. Fucking win win.
So, you need to make a Roma tomato-infused Vermouth Rosso, which involves seasoning and roasting some Roma tomatoes, chucking it in a vacuum seal bag along with a bottle of Vermouth, cooking sous vide at a low temperature, and then straining and bottling it.
THEN you have to make basil oil, which involves blitzing basil leaves and olive oil in a blender.
You with me? Right, here’s the next steps.
Take your Campari and gin (30ml each), combine it, and then filter it through a sourdough roll crust into a mixing glass. Then add 30ml of your Roma tomato-infused Vermouth Russo, plus about 5ml of Balsamic glaze, stir it, and strain it into a coupette. Finally, finish with four drops of basil oil and go nuts.
It’s a bit of work to get there, but luckily the infused Vermouth will last up to six months, so once you’ve done the hard part, all you need to do is keep buying sourdough rolls for the crust.