The Negroni–that Italian aperitivo with the easy to remember recipe (equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth)—is seeing a major resurgence. The QT Sydney in Australia not only provides a menu of Negroni cocktails, the luxury hotel also offers flights that allows guests to taste three of signature Negronis.
Closer to home, the Negroni more than gets its due at Fiola, an Italian restaurant Fiola in Washington, D.C. Bar manager Jeff Faile offers six versions of the balanced, ruby-hued classic, all priced at $14. “The Negroni menu is a great conversation starter between the guests and the bartenders,” he notes.
His favorite is the Negroni Classico, with Plymouth Gin, Gran Classico (“a less sweet Campari”), and Dolin Rouge. “It’s the perfect way to start off a meal.” The Negroni Bianco uses Botanist Gin—an Islay gin that pairs well with floral Dolin Blanc, and gets a citrus kick from Cocchi Americano. Faile even offers two Negronis whose base eschews gin for pisco or tequila.
Negroni purists may call this sacrilegious, but Faile sees it as an educational opportunity for guests. “I’ve been able to use [the menu] to expose people to new flavors and spirits, and also show them those Italian spirits aren’t necessarily just ‘bitter.’”