In conversation with

Celebrating 100 years of Negroni

July 26, 2019

BAR 45 has an enviable reputation for serving the finest Negronis in London. With a recent award to prove it, we’re ready to celebrate the centenary of this classic cocktail with bar manager Francesco Orefici.

Step back in time

I’ve long been a fan of the Negroni, thanks to its distinctive taste and strong Italian roots like myself. I’m not surprised its popularity continues to grow 100 years after it was first created back in 1919, at Caffè Casoni in Florence. The magic happened when Count Camillo Negroni asked to exchange the soda water in his usual Americano cocktail for gin, the famous Negroni was born and has been named after him ever since.

Celebrating in style

During this year’s National Negroni Week, our bartender Alessandro Vella won the Negroni Week cocktail competition. He was inspired by growing up in Italy and created an almond and vanilla gin infusion with Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto and Martini Bitter, which was adored by the judges and has made us all very proud at BAR 45.

In the mix

I’m often asked what the secret is to creating the perfect Negroni. It consists of equal measures of gin, Campari and vermouth poured over ice. Of course the difference is all about which gin and vermouth you prefer in your Negroni. Our dedicated Negroni trolley lets us bring a bit of theatre to your table, and the chance to choose the exact mix and flavour you prefer.

london 45 park lane negroni mixologist

Better with age

Our Aged Negroni is pre-mixed using a trio of different gins and stored in a wooden barrel for six to eight weeks, allowing the flavours to gently blend and for the barrel to add subtle hints of vanilla and caramel ─ trust me it makes all the difference. Likewise, our Vintage Negroni stands out because it’s created using 1980s Campari, teamed with 1970s Antica Formula Carpano Vermouth and Gordon’s Special London Dry Gin, which gives a more mellow flavour. Both come highly recommended.

Worthy of an Oscar winner

If you’re looking for something a little different I suggest trying our Shallow Negroni. This version was created when Wolfgang Puck was catering for the Oscars party as he does each year. He was talking about creating an Oscars Negroni but when his friend Bradley Cooper won his Oscar for best soundtrack with ‘Shallow’, we decided to name it in his honour so it’s a real celebratory drink.

Negroni nights

If you’re as passionate about Negroni cocktails as we are, I’m sure you’ll be interested to know about our bi-monthly Negroni Nights held on the third Thursday of the month. During these interactive masterclasses, I’m joined by an expert Campari mixologist and together we share the secrets of making a perfect Negroni. Once we’ve shown you how it’s done, you’ll get the chance to put your own mixology skills to the test. We also serve food pairings to complement the cocktails and at the end of the evening everyone walks away with a smile, having learnt something new and enjoyed a classic Italian aperitivo time.

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Golden Negroni

For something a little different to celebrate 100 years of the Negroni, here’s my own Golden Negroni recipe. Pour 30ml The Botanist gin, 15ml Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, 15ml Suze liqueur and 30ml of Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato into a mixing glass. Add several ice cubes and stir for 10 seconds then, using a cocktail strainer, pour into a stemless glass over a large cube of ice. To finish, squeeze a slice of lemon peel over the cocktail, twist it and add to your drink. Admire your creation and take a sip.

Celebrate 100 years of the classic Negroni cocktail by joining us for one of our interactive Negroni Nights in 45 Park Lane’s Media Room.

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45 Park Lane is a vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel. An invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

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