Negroni Week 2015

Practically a cult classic, the Negroni has its own week on the calendar!

Invented by Count Camillo Negroni in Florence Italy around 1920, the three-ingredient cocktail is respected because of its perfect balance between sweet, sour and bitter. Now it’s celebrated around the globe throughout the first week of June.

Negroni Week is a collaboration between iconic brand Campari and Imbibe Magazine. The campaign dubbed “Drinks for a Cause” invites bars and restaurants to get involved in order to raise money for charity. Participating licensed venues donate $1 from every Negroni sold to their choice of not for profit. Last year the campaign saw over $120,000 donated to worthy causes.

This year, Negroni Week comes to Australia for the first time with 20 Melbourne bars participating. For the list of bars, click here

1st to 7th June

www.negroniweek.com

Taking Up The Challenge

When I was contacted by Imbibe Magazine and asked to create a Negroni inspired cocktail, my response was I thought that was just for bars. But after perusing blogger submissions from last year, I was so inspired I jumped to the challenge.

The only criterion I was given was to use Campari and be creative. However, I gave myself two additional criteria:

  1. Being the first year Australia is involved, it needs to have an Aussie theme; and
  2. Bars are doing classic Negroni cocktails or twists on the classic, so my submission needs to be unique, preferably a first.

Base Ingredients

The classic Negroni is mixed using Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in equal parts. Given my Aussie theme, I decided to incorporate two Australian products, along with the mandatory Italian Campari.

Campari

Campari---sizedCreated by Gaspare Campari in the 1860s, Campari is a bittersweet aperitif. An alcoholic infusion of 68 aromatic botanicals, the spirit is still made to its original recipe today.

Campari gets its aroma from botanical herbs and spices, ruby red colour from cherries and bitterness from orange peel, grapefruit rind and quinine.

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin

Four-Pillars-Rare-Dry-Gin---sizedVictoria’s winemaking heartland, the Yarra Valley, is just an hour or so drive from Melbourne. The air is fresh, the water is pure and the country landscape offers some of Australia’s most exciting botanicals. It is also home to Four Pillars Gin.

The brand name is derived from the company’s ethos of having four pillars to craft distilling the perfect small batch gin: Copper Pot Still + Pure Spring Water + Botanicals + Love.

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin is an innovative Australian style using a mix of local and imported botanicals, including juniper berries, fresh oranges, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, Tasmanian pepper berry leaf, lavender, angelica and lemon myrtle.

The strength of the orange in its profile makes it the perfect gin for a Negroni.

Maidenii Sweet Vermouth

Maidenii-Sweet---sizedA partnership between an expert winemaker and an A-class Melbourne bartender, Australia’s first vermouth is produced in picturesque Central Victoria amongst the grape vines and apple orchards.

In a base wine of Australian cabernet and wormwood, Maidenii showcases a host of Australian native botanicals from roots to leaves to flowers to fruits to herbs to spices to seeds. [Click here to read the full article on Maidenii.]

Blood orange citrus in its profile makes it the perfect vermouth for a Negroni.

What One Can Do Well Two Can Do Better

From Negroni popsicles to Negroni jello to Negroni cocktail alchemy, Negroni Week 2014 really delivered the goods. So what could I possibly do that would match the innovation of last year’s submissions? Original and Australian, remember… Well, what’s more Aussie than a lamington?

Enter Cooper & Millas Armadale.

This cosy little food store and café is a south side institution. It reminds me of a country cakery, yet it’s nestled into the centre of one of Melbourne’s most sophisticated shopping strips. Step inside Cooper & Milla’s Armadale and it has that Nana’s kitchen feeling – somewhat warm and quaint.

Cooper & Millas Cafe 2 Cooper & Millers - cake display

Mouth watering sweets and treats… Trays of delectable delights… Cooper & Millas Armadale is a bounty of freshly baked bliss.

I briefed the team, handed over the booze and watched the magic happen.

Negroni Lamingtons
lamingtons-on-scales---insta

Click on image for recipe

Cake & Cuppa

The good ol’ lamington is an Aussie tradition, served up for afternoon tea. So it’s only fitting that I complete the scene. The lamington may be the star of the show, but it needs a cuppa.

Negroni Spiced Tea
tea-pouring---insta

Click on image for recipe

Now, it may seem cliche to have kangaroos, koalas and dingos on your tablecloth, but to me it’s just good fun. Coupled with some native gum nuts and a vintage poster spruiking ‘Tea Revives You” and there you have it

The Ultimate Australiana Negroni Afternoon Tea

tea revives you

Cheers!

Great News: Since the team at Cooper & Milla’s Armadale had so much fun making the Negroni lamingtons, they’ve decided to participate in Negroni Week. $1 from every lamington or Negroni sold will go to Very Special Kids.

COOPER & MILLA’S ARMADALE

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