- No way frosé! It’s time for frozen Negroni cocktails!
- But, um, yeah, just so we’re clear, I’ve been telling you guys to drink a frozen Negroni for awhile now.
- Get a nice cold can of … Gin & Tonics? You can now. Would you guys drink it?
- Heading out to Palm Springs this summer? (You’re very brave with that heat) Here’s where to drink!
- Did you forget to get Dad a gift? Better late than never.
- You put the coffee in the booze and you drink it all up...
- Grant Achatz. A reason for us to head to NYC for a trip.
- Are you… Amari curious? Here’s a ranking to find the right flavor for you.
- If you are a lazy B, there’s some cocktail videos you should watch.
- And finally, if you’re looking for a great cocktail read, check out these 25 cocktails sites recommended by Crafty Bartending (we’re #4!)!!
- Low proof Tiki Cocktails! Sure, I’ll try anything once.
- If you’re not all Negroni’d out from last week’s #NegroniWeek, then here a few variations to try from bartenders around the country.
- Rosé drive thrus exist now (if you’re in the Hamptons).
- Summer’s coming. So you all should be large batching drinks now.
- 25 of the most important bourbons (says Food & Wine).
- This D.C. bar was making sure everyone was getting LIT during the Comey testimony.
- You’re going to want to be in Ireland June 25 through July 1st for this G&T festival.
- California might be able to party a lot later soon!
- Here’s a quick guide to stocking your home bar depending on your budget $$$$.
- And finally, a peacock destroying a liquor store. Happy Monday.
- First, a little history via James Bond. Because bitters were his first love.
- And for even more history on the drink, check out the book by Gary Regan!
- Not sure what bars in your neighborhood are participating this year? Check out this bar finder and see what charity your bar is supporting.
- Pins are so hot right now. And you can have your very own Negroni version to rock out with this week.
- Negroni lollipops. They’re a thing you should eat.
- And speaking of eating, if you’re in Los Angeles this week, check out Break Room 86 and enjoy a Negroni Ice Cream sandwich. Because… ice cream (and because we’ll be stopping in Wednesday night for a special cocktail surprise. Watch for details on Instagram!).
- Did you check out our Negroni Week post? We got all the details on what it is, AND THREE NEW COCKTAILS for you to enjoy.
- You can also eyeball our other Negroni riffs from years past. Coconut. Coffee. Go get ’em.
- Accessorize your ensemble this week with a Negroni bandana and $2 of each sale will benefit the San Francisco Marin food bank!
- And lastly, we’ll be out and about all week supporting our favorite bars and charities. Stop on by our Instagram and say hi and let us know where you’re going!
This post is brought to you by Campari. Recipes and ideas are my own.
Your Instagram feed might be turning from #millennialpink to a cheery garnet red next week as we embark on the FIFTH year of Negroni Week!
If you’re not familiar with this wonderful time of year, or have only heard of it in passing, let me loop you guys in. From June 5 through 11 this year, bars, restaurants and vendors from around the world celebrate the Negroni cocktail – an iconic mix of Campari, gin, and sweet red vermouth – to raise money and awareness for great causes. What started as just 100 bars in the US, has now grown into an International event and this year will be bigger than ever.
While you’ll see me out to help the cause next week at a few of my favorite bars (remember to follow us along on Instagram as we’ve planned a few surprises!!) there are other ways you can help a charity out. A portion of proceeds from the sales of nationally-available items such as a Campari-branded red bicycle from PUBLIC, a Negroni-red Baggu tote, and fire red-tinted sunglasses from Sunski, among other items, will be donated to charity. National partner Lyft will also offer coupon codes to new users to help riders safely get around during Negroni Week.
Campari, the star of the cocktail itself, is committed to supporting the trade community’s fundraising efforts as well. This year, Campari is teaming up with both the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), as well as SHARE – a nationwide community that offers support to women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers – via SHARE’s partnership with Speed Rack, the all-female speed bartending competition benefitting breast cancer research, education and prevention. Multi-city events will be held with both the USBG and SHARE/Speed Rack to raise money for each charitable cause.
I am a staunch believer in volunteer and charity work and grew up in a community that placed a strong emphasis on these values. That’s why I’m participating once again to help spread the word. While going for a drink out may seem almost like a lay up to support a charity, the point is, it supports a charity. Everyone, and every bit (or drink), counts.
Because Negroni Week is also a celebration of the cocktail, I’ve teamed up with Campari to create 3 of my own variations on the cocktail to represent its Past, Present and Future (and have named them such).
Negroni:Past (double vanilla Negroni float)
Representing the past, the Negroni: Past Cocktail harkens back to old timey soda fountain shops where ice cream floats were an indulgent treat for everyone. Here we’ve made this an “adult’s only” cocktail with double the vanilla. Vanilla infused gin, Campari, vanilla ice cream and sweet vermouth “sauce” is a refreshing, and super indulgent, treat for the summer. Optionally, if you can get your hands on some acid phosphate you can give your float extra tang just like the OG soda jerks did.
1-1/2 ounces gin, such as Bulldog London Dry Gin, infused with vanilla (recipe follows)
1 ounce Campari
2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
8 ounces sweet vermouth, such as Cinzano 1757
optional: 1/2 tsp acid phosphate
- Start by reducing the sweet vermouth. To do this, heat sweet vermouth in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it reduces to about 2 ounces. Set aside.
- In a pint glass, or soda fountain glass, add 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Then, in a mixing glass filled 2/3 with ice, add in vanilla infused gin and Campari (and acid phosphate if using). Stir to chill about 20 seconds. Strain mixture over the ice cream.
- Garnish your adult float with the sweet vermouth “sauce”.
Vanilla Infused Gin
8 ounces gin, such as Bulldog London Dry Gin
3 to 4 vanilla beans
- Chop vanilla beans into 1″ pieces. Add vanilla pieces and gin into an airtight container and seal. Leave in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 days.
- Strain the mixture into a new container when desired taste has been reached.
- Vanilla infused gin will keep at optimal taste up to 6 months.
Just because the original Negroni cocktail uses gin, does not mean that today’s has to. One of the biggest trends of the current cocktail era is to take a classic drink and swap out the main spirit. Mezcal has exploded onto the bar scene and you can find it popping up in most bar’s menus. And with good reason, it’s delicious. For this cocktail, we swap out the gin with mezcal, keep our friends Campari and sweet vermouth, and add a touch of green bell pepper syrup to highlight the vegetal nuances of the mezcal.
1 ounce mezcal
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth, such as Cinzano 1757
1 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce green bell pepper syrup (recipe follows)
large strip of orange zest for garnish
In a mixing glass 2/3 filled with ice, add in mezcal, sweet vermouth, Campari and bell pepper syrup. Stir for 20 seconds to chill and then strain over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange zest.
Green Bell Pepper Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 green bell pepper, chopped
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add to the pan the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve and add in green bell pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and cover.
- Let sit one hour, remove bell peppers, and let syrup finish cooling to room temperature.
- Store syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
When you think of the future of cocktails, do you picture some mad scientists conducting experiments in a lab? I do. With the future in mind, I’m highlighting the sharp bitterness of the Negroni with gentian smoke for a take on the smoked cocktail. This cocktail requires a blow torch, so you know it’s fun.
- Start by moving to a well ventilated room. Place gentian root in a shallow, heat proof dish (I also like mini disposable pie plates!). Get a kitchen torch or long fireplace lighter ready.
- Next, fill a mixing glass 2/3 with ice. Pour in gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. Stir to chill 20 seconds.
- Immediately begin smoking the gentian root by holding a flame to it until starts to smoke. As soon as it begins to smoke, place a glass upside down over the smoke to “catch” the smoke. When the glass is filled, slide a postcard or piece of cardstock over the hole to keep the smoke in.
- Turn the glass right side up, keeping the hole covered. When ready to serve, remove the card and strain the mixed cocktail into the smoke. Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel.
For more information on Negroni Week, and for a list of bars participating, visit negroniweek.com and follow @CampariUS and @Imbibe on Facebook, @CampariUSA and @Imbibe on Instagram, @Campari and @Imbibe on Twitter, and engaging with the #NegroniWeek hashtag.
- Forget 6 packs of beer, there’s 6 packs of CHAMPAGNE now!
- If your cocktail isn’t served in an oversized light bulb… why even bother?
- Trash tiki. Learn it. Love it. Live it.
- Allspice dram, a flavor for all seasons.
- Not all bubbles are the same. Get to know the differences between seltzer and club soda. You guys already know why tonic water is different…right?
- Make the effort to buy good, cheap wine and not cheap, bad wine.
- Want to know what cocktails you should be Instagramming this summer? These cocktails. Right here.
- Drink Rogue beer, send a kid to school. Yay beer!
- Apparently there are rules for drinking mezcal…one of which includes worms.
- And finally, Negroni Week is starting June 5th and we’ll be sharing a bunch of Negroni adventures here and on our Instagram. Follow along!
- Tiki bars are not going anywhere. But you can easily make your own at home too. Here’s how!
- Bourbon. A whole bottle. On your doorstep. Every month.
- Everything you wanted to know about whiskey in this easy to read primer. Plus, lots of great distilleries and recipes!
- Making your own orgeat is riddick easy. Did you know you can use pistachios? We did that.
- Plants! Cocktails! Cocktail terrariums! I must drink here.
- All about scotchy scotch scotch (and it’s a video!).
- So many pickleback recipes, for when you need more than…just one…pickleback.
- Twin Peaks is coming back. Here’s a cocktail to get you excited about that.
- So, pretty much Chicago is going to go in and shake up the NYC cocktail scene.
- And finally, a new cocktail book devoted to DAY DRINKING. YASSSSSS!
- Rosé forties. The basic drink of summer, and also a lifestyle choice.
- And with all that “wine tasting” you’ll be doing this summer, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s actually good for your brain*. (*#alternativesciencefacts)
- I’m not bringing my babies to bars either.
- Craft cocktails ARE all the rage right now…
- OK, so I can bartend in VR but WHO WILL THROW THE BOOZE INTO MY MOUTH?!
- This is old news but I both love the idea of Fernet and Beer and the name here. Beer me up.
- Even Bill Murray couldn’t save the Manhattan Cocktail Classic this year.
- Ain’t nobody getting this rum punch recipe.
- Are you shaking your cocktails correctly? Hint: if it takes more than one person you’re doing it wrong.
- And finally, if you’re going to put “red diaries” and “Clive Owen” in your cocktail movie Campari, and he is not bartending in the nude, I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR MOVIE.
Due to popular demand, and by that I mean the handful of you who have expressed interest in this column, the Monday Booze News has returned on a semi-weekly…monthly… basis. I had struggled to keep this up due to not a lot of interesting booze news going on and had decided to put this column to sleep for awhile, but OH BOY, the news that happened in the meantime! So here you go folks, the booze news you’ve been missing. Starting with…
- Opening your damn wine bottle with a SHOE.
- My dear friend Nathan, who’s becoming quite a who’s who in the LA Cocktail scene here, had a whole article written about him. All the warm feels when your friends are doing awesome!
- Go home Apple Watch, you’re drunk.
- Camper English has been doing some fun things with clear ice balls lately. Check this interview out on Cocktail Chemistry!
- And for those ice balls, check out his Instagram.
- What the real history of May 5th is all about.
- Time Out LA’s Bar Awards of 2017 nominations list is out and boy, you should drink at ALL these places.
- An article on horseshoes that doesn’t involve Kentucky: what are horseshoe shaped bars all about?
- LIQUOR SOAKED FRENCH CHEESE.
- The Garnish Blog has a great list of cocktail blogs for you to check out (and we’re one of them!).
If you’re not familiar with DPD, they’re a one hour radio program usually broadcast on your local public radio station and their job is to help you win your next dinner party with news tidbits, interviews, etiquette questions, and, most importantly, cocktail recipes. They’ve been doing this for awhile, so you can spend some time browsing their recipes for something to make for your next dinner party (and get a little history lesson too!). This post includes a few of my favorite shots I’ve taken for them over the past couple of years.
As always, thanks for reading!