One part gin, one part Campari and one part vermouth combines to make one incredibly awesome cocktail; the Negroni. While a Negroni is technically considered an aperitif cocktail to be served before a meal, we are certainly no strangers to sipping these all night long - and we’re pretty positive we’re not alone in this endeavour.
Originally created by bartender Fosco Scarselli at Bar Casoni in 1920s Florence, the Negroni was named after Count Camillo Negroni who wanted a little extra kick to his usual order of an Americano. Soda was removed, gin was added, and the bitter and delicious Negroni was born. Here’s where you can get Melbourne’s best classics and recreations.
Fresh, local, seasonal produce is the aim of the game at Fitzrovia - a name that is both a nod to the street it stands on, and the bohemian West-London town. Their Fitzgroni is a special one indeed, as it stays true to their ethos by using Firedrum vodka from Tasmania to go with the essential Campari and red vermouth. Because Fitzrovia all about keeping it fresh, their Negroni is served topped up with cold-pressed orange juice. This is an ideal sundowner for those who like a refreshing take on the traditionally bitter cocktail.
Bar di Stasio
Ronnie di Stasio does not play around when it comes to perfecting the drinking and dining experience, so you can be assured that no matter what you’re dropping in for, you will be in exceptionally good hands. While we couldn’t recommend the food at Bar di Stasio highly enough, we’re here to talk Negronis - and there are two options. First, there’s your traditional Negroni with gin, Campari, Rosso Antico and a dash of Angostura bitters. Secondly, there’s the Negroni Sbagliato, or ‘wrong’ Negroni, which swaps out gin for Prosecco. It may be wrong, but it’s oh so right.
When you’re on the hunt for a Negroni in Melbourne, it’s wise to start with the Italian bars and eateries. One such cellar bar that we can certainly recommend is Cecconi’s on Flinders Lane. Go for the classic, and drink it as it was intended - before a hearty Italian meal. If you are feeling peckish but not starving, San Danielle prosciutto and grissini make excellent accompaniments for this aperitif.
When a restaurant dedicates a whole section of their bar menu to the Negoni, you know you have come to the right place. From a Salted Caramel version to Chilli-Choc, and even a Sloe Gin variety for those looking to add some fruitiness to the traditional bitter flavours, this is the bar to imbibe in. The Vecchio Amico (or ‘old friend’ in Italian) is quite the shake up, with Buffalo Trace bourbon whisky, Cynar, sweet and dry vermouth, Campari and burnt rosemary for good measure. If that wasn’t enough options, Nieuw Amsterdam have also borrowed a dark rum Negroni recipe from their pals at Rice Queen, which includes Angostura 1919 premium rum, Carpano Antica Formula, and a Montenegro orange twist.
Le Bon Ton
Usually when we think of a stiff drink at Le Bon Ton our mind immediately goes to Absinthe - but not this time, Listers. While they don’t have a Negroni necessarily listed on their cocktail menu, it never hurts to ask their awesome bar staff, as they’ve got the ingredients to serve one up. Over at their sister venue, Longhorn Saloon, they have been known to make a Boulevardier – a similar beast to the Negroni, only you substitute the gin for bourbon. Take a walk on the wild side and give this a go.
Easily one of our favourite hidden rooftops in the CBD, Bomba delivers the goods when it comes to scenic views and sipping cocktails. Their White Negroni swaps out Campari with Cocchi Blanc, and adds Dolin Dry vermouth and Tanqueray gin. If you do happen to be a bit of a purist there is no need to despair, just ask the bartender for a regular Negroni which will be served with the traditional twirled orange peel and a gigantic block of ice. Perfection.
A never-ending flow of Negronis sound like heaven to us, and we’ve found the closest thing to making this a reality. Negroni on tap is the invention you wish you thought of first, but in the meantime head down to Jungle Boy and treat yo' self. Thankfully they’ve managed to capture the Negroni in all its glory without that funny, premixed feeling. Sneak in behind the cool room door of Boston Sub and escape to your happy place.
This nautical themed, exposed brickwork beauty of a rum den has more than a few tricks up its sleeve, which is exemplified in their Classics and Twists cocktail menu. Rum Diary's Barrel Aged Rum Negroni combines Angostura 5yr Caribbean rum, St James Imperial Blanc, and house aperitif blend, which is left in a rum barrel to enhance the herbaceous ad bittersweet notes of the original concoction. It’s a bit of a favourite amongst those in the know - and now, you know too.
Albert Park Hotel
When you’re an institution like this long-standing gem, you can afford to go your own way when creating cocktails. One example of their inventive nature is their signature creation, the Smokey Negroni. Monte Alban Mezcal meets Cinzano Rosso, Aperol and orange zest for freshness and tang. Tequila in a Negroni may seem a bit sacrilegious at first, but once you’ve had one at Albert Park Hotel, there’s no going back.
The Arbory Bar and Eatery
After-work drinks and waterside sipping go hand in hand, and if you can do it in the heart of the city then you know you’ve nabbed yourself a sweet spot indeed. The Negroni at Arbory is another barrel-aged treat, with Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Campari, and the Carpano Antica Formula aged on site in a spiced oak barrels. So our question to you is, what are you waiting for?
Look, you can’t beat a classic cocktail - and 1806 are the absolute kings of making you just what the doctor ordered. Tanqueray gin meets Cinzano Rosso and Campari in an old fashioned glass over ice and a slice of orange. This, ladies and gents, is as good as it gets; a Negroni just the way the Count intended.
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