The turning of the seasons doesn’t only observe a shift in the mercury, it also reinvigorates our cravings for something refreshing. On the sartorial front, our desire for languid dresses or decorative sets is stimulated. But, on an epicurean level, the first weeks of Spring bring forth a yearning for the refreshingly bitter tipple and deliciously salivating Campari cocktail, the Negroni.
Blame it on the chokehold the fiery red Italian bitter had over us during the balmy summer season—because what European sojourn isn’t complete without a Campari aperitif? But, as soon as the first bloom is observed, our pining for a piquant Negroni becomes as deep as the rich red hue of the bitter itself.
Since Negroni’s inception in 1919, the beverage has become a staple within the armoire of bars worldwide. However, its heritage is far more impressive than the talent of mixologists slinging this rouge liquor at your local speakeasy or trattoria during this year’s Negroni week.
Despite Campari hailing from Milan, and consequently becoming synonymous with the sophistication and flair emerging from this cultural epicentre, Negroni’s roots are actually laid down in Florence.
Given the Negroni’s prevalence in some of the world’s best bars, from lavish hotel lobbies to understated prohibition-style haunts, it’s only natural the first Negroni was poured in famed Florentine bar, Café Cason.
Of course, another reason for the collective cravings for the Italian cocktail could be attributed to Negroni Week; an annual charity event dedicated to Italian excellence, recognising Campari’s flair and raising a glass in recognition of our shared adoration for the cocktail.
What began as a testament to Campari has burgeoned into a beating red heart at the centre of the Negroni-verse; an amalgam of dexterous bartenders, content patrons and gourmands alike all with a common love for the savoury cocktail.
With Negroni Week running again this year from September 18 – 24, the event is proving to be the opportune moment to indulge in this Italian spirit and the spirit of Italian style. Below are the best bars across Australia to sink your teeth into this Negroni week and an editor-approved Negroni recipe to level up your cocktail game at home.
Where To Sip A Negroni In Style This Negroni Week
Door Knock, Sydney NSW
Named after its rule of entry (see: with a door knock), this underground cocktail and wine bar is one of Sydney’s hidden gems. Beneath the city’s bustling Pitt Street lies a hidden trove that redefines what drinking in a friend’s basement entails. Featuring warm wood decor and a showpiece stone fireplace, Door Knock’s sumptuous finishes are the perfect garnish for a fiery Negroni.
Dom’s Social Club, Melbourne VIC
Perched above Swanston Street in the thick of Melbourne central, Dom’s Social Club boasts three floors of kinetic energy. The ideal Negroni night at Dom’s starts on Level 2, the Public Bar, where the drink is slung on the regular, before heading down to the authentic pizzeria on the first level. Then, make like the Italians and head upstairs to the rooftop to slurp and sip the evening away. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Ezra Pound, Perth WA
Named after American poet Ezra Pound, this typical ‘Americana’ haunt finds a kindred spirit in both the writer and its own 20th-century roots. Inspired by the Prohibition era, a period where Negronis were the drink du jour, the small bar’s exposed brick interiors and simmering DJ scene make it a comfortable place to unwind with the timeless cocktail. Plus, with the bar boasting an original brass cash register, it almost feels like you’ve stepped back in time to Fosco Scarselli’s Café Carson.
Brisbane Fish Lane, Brisbane QLD
A stone’s throw from the Brisbane River lies the arts and dining precinct Fish Lane. One of Brisbane’s bustling hubs, the laneway is lined with local bars, vibrant restaurants, cafes and entertainment hot spots. This Negroni Week, Fish Lane is celebrating the fête with three Negroni-themed events, including an after-work and post-dinner block party on the 16th and 17th of September, and an aperitivo afternoon. Bellissimo.
GRAZIA’s Classic Negroni Recipe
For those who don’t need an excuse, or a specific time of the year to celebrate the beauty of Campari’s classic cocktail, keep scrolling below for GRAZIA’s editor-approved Negroni recipe.
How To Make A Negroni
- x1 Part Campari
- x1 Part Gin
- x1 Sweet Vermouth
- x1 Rock Tumbler Glass
- x1 Generous Slice of Orange
- Pour equal parts Campari, Gin and Sweet Vermouth over ice directly into your tumbler glass and stir.
- Garnish with a slice of orange, and enjoy!
Negroni Week runs from September 18-24, 2023. For participating venues raising a glass to the Campari and Negroni’s timeless bond, click here.