NEW YORK, N.Y. – With the fourth annual Negroni Week beginning June 6, it is evident the thirst for classic cocktails continues its march forward. This time, however, with a twist.
“Adult consumers have been gravitating toward the timeless drinks of their grandparents, such as the gin martini,” said Kelley McDonough, Director of Public Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council (the Council). “The biggest difference is that mixologists are adding their own special flair to these classic recipes, giving their customers a new experience.”
Brett Esler, bartender of Whisler’s in Austin, Texas added, “These days, the resurgence of craft cocktails has brought a lot of classics to the front and center. Take the Negroni for example, a truly timeless classic hailing from Italy. While it’s perfect yet delicate balance of bitter and sweet has contributed to its popularity, nothing has helped more, in my opinion, than its sheer simplicity.”
As for the Negroni, martini and other classics, gin’s pleasurable taste and versatile flavors make it a perfect base for any simple or complex cocktail. Nearly 120 million bottles of gin, worth around an estimated 2.5 billion at retail, were sold in the United States in 2015 according to the Council.
While Americans may be gravitating towards their grandparents’ choice in cocktails, today’s consumers are drinking better. The Council reports Super Premium gin saw a 38.5 percent increase in sales last year, reflecting the trend of consumers trading up to more premium versions of their favorite spirits, especially in their cocktails.
McDonough explained, “The change in Americans preferences have allowed bartenders and mixologists to push the boundaries with their cocktail creations. They are not afraid to use the top-shelf liquors or add new ingredients to a classic recipe.”
Bartenders across the nation agree. “I love that the craft cocktail movement has been able to influence America’s palette and gain their trust on new flavors and spirits to try,” said Meaghan Dorman, Bar Director of The Bennett in New York City.
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, added, “When I started enjoying the Negroni it was hard to find a bartender who knew the drink, let alone had ever made one. Needless to say those days are long gone. Today, very few if any bartenders will confuse the Negroni as an imported beer!”
Celebrate the renaissance of classic cocktails during Negroni Week (June 6 – June 12) with some of our favorite Negroni recipes:
Gin-Strong Negroni by Nick Bennett of Porchlight
1 ½ parts Gin
¾ parts Campari
¾ parts Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura
Orange twist as a garnish.
Soft-Gin Negroni by Michael Neff of Holiday Cocktail Lounge
1 ½ parts Gin (softer gins are recommended)
1 part Sweet Vermouth
1/2 part Campari
1/2 part Aperol
Stir until well-chilled. Serve up with an orange twist. And a healthy dose of molto bene.
The Distilled Spirits Council is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States.