This ruby red Italian charmer is popping up everywhere in Canada, having entered the mainstream in mid-2015. While the Negroni may look sweet, dont let it fool you – it is strong and bitter ( depending on your threshold) with no syrup masking anything on it. Drink it before a good meal, and by good I mean copious, because a gin, vermouth and Campari combination can knock you out on an empty stomach.
The most widely reported version of this drink’s origin is that it was invented at Caffe Casoni in Florence, Italy in 1919. Legend tells that Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend, bartender Forsco Scarselli, to strengthen his favourite cocktail – the Americano – by replacing the soda water with gin. Scarselli added an orange garnish, rather than the lemon you’d usually get with an Americano, and the drink took off. Before long, everyone was coming into the bar for a ‘Negroni.’
Monday marked the start of Negroni Week worldwide ( June 4th to June 10th) -- the sixth annual celebration of this enduring cocktail classic. The event was launched in 2013 by Campari (the Italian famous aperitif) as a way to raise money for global charities, amassing over $500,000 last year alone.
With the contemporary cocktail movement continuing to gain a strong presence, the annual event has grown larger every year,with Negroni Week 2018 aiming to become the biggest yet.Starting with a tiny 100 participating bars in 2013, last year's Negroni Week saw the participation of 770 venues in 60 countries to raise an amazing $1.5million for charitable causes since the launch.
Last year,Canada was one of the top five most successful fundraising markets with 555 participating venues raising over$17,000. Within Canada, British Columbia (137),Alberta (124) and Ontario (108) led the pack with the most participating venues.This year, the initiative aims to register over 600 venues.
How does it work? It’s pretty straightforward. Visit www.negroniweek.com to select your closest participating venue. So far this year, more than 20 bars across Montreal, Laval and the South shore have signed up. When you get there order a Negroni, and a portion of the sale will support a specific charity preselected by the bar that’s serving you. If you already love the drink, you needn’t do anything aside from what you’d normally do. Perhaps just order more of it. If you’re not already familiar with the three ingredient masterpiece, now’s as good a time as any for a new learning experience.
Negroni week is the perfect excuse for a get together with friends to celebrate with friends the summer and all things Italian!!