In Napoli, ordering a Negroni is more than just ordering a drink. The cocktail, made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, then garnished with an orange peel, is considered something akin to foreplay. Considered an aperitif, the cocktail is crafted with care and almost always accompanied by chips, canapes, and other assorted savories. Like almost everything in Italy, it's less about the drink (though there's great pride in making a perfect Negroni), and more about the experience, which is heightened by sipping the cocktail al fresco on the rooftop bar of the Grand Hotel Parker's, with Mount Vesuvius looming over your view.
Drinking a good Negroni is, indeed, an experience. The cocktail is sweet and bitter all at once, with a gentle balance of fruits, herbs, and floral notes. It's sophisticated (James Bond drank them) and lends itself to interpretation with the substitution of different gins or even vodka.
Lure Fishbar's Robert Ferrara says the Negroni is gaining in popularity in Miami, "because there are so many different variations from the classic. Make three Negronis with three different gins and watch what happens. Take out gin and insert mezcal. Wow! Replace Martini Rossi with Carpano Antica Formula, and that changes everything. Switch out Campari for Aperol for less bitterness. The variations are endless."
If you haven't had a Negroni and don't have time to fly to Naples, you can enjoy one at nearly two dozen Miami bars celebrating Negroni Week. From now through June 8, order a Negroni and at least one dollar will be donated to the charity of the bar's choice.
Or, come out to Bocce Bar today, June 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. for the Bocce Ball for a Cause happy hour. Enjoy complimentary Beefeater & Plymouth gin Negronis and bites and play some bocce at Miami's only bocce court. Bring your wallet and make a donation to the Miami Rescue Mission (cash only) and feel good about that cocktail.
Celebrate at one of these bars (listed with benefit charity) or make one at home with Rob Ferrara's recipes:
1oz Martini Grand Lusso
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir for 20 seconds. Strain over one big ice cube and garnish with an orange twist.
1oz Carpano Antica formula
Top with Peroni
Add all ingredients to a high ball glass. Add ice and top with beer. Garnish with an orange wedge
Participating Negroni Week bars include:
Baru Urbano (Sketches for Mankind)
Blackbird Ordinary (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)
Bocce Bar (Wade's World)
Epic Hotel and Area 31 (Young Arts Foundation)
Foxhole Bar (Overtown Youth Center)
Gramps (Reef Relief)
Hereford Grill (Susan G. Komen For the Cure)
Lure Fishbar (The American Diabetes Association)
Michaels Genuine Food & Drink (Alex's Lemonade Stand)
Oak Tavern (Florida Impact)
Orange Blossom (Florida Impact)
R House (Lotus House Shelter)
Radio Bar (Jewish Federation)
Red Bar (Florida Impact)
River Oyster Bar (Florida Impact)
The Broken Shaker (Humane Society of Greater Miami)
The Cypress Room (Slow Food Miami)
The District (Shake-A-Leg)
Will Call (Florida Impact)