Red, bold and punchy. Negroni is an iconic Italian classic cocktail, typically mixed with gin, vermouth and Campari. Though it is an acquired taste for many because of its bitterness, it is an aperitif that is loved by many. So much so that every year, our favourite bars in Hong Kong celebrate the classic tipple and participate in Negroni Week, a global charity initiative to raise funds for any charity of their choice. This year, 40 of Hong Kong’s top bars and restaurants will come together for the 10th iteration of Negroni Week to mix classic and creative variations of Negronis in support of Slow Food. Inspiring a movement towards food and beverage that is good – for them, the people that produce it and the world. The Slow Food Negroni Week Fund will then support projects across the world promoting the preservation of cultural and biological diversity of food and beverage worldwide.
From 12 to 18 September, Hong Kong’s favourite watering holes will be stirring up new and creative recipes for both Negroni-lovers and those new to the classic cocktail. Opening on 12 September with The Negroni Week Opening Party “Closer Than Ever” at the Honly Tonks Tavern. It will be a handcuffed guestshift featuring duo-representatives from participating partners including Argo, DarkSide and The Dispensary. On top of Honky’s team Special Negroni Week menu, each bar duo will create and serve one original Negroni recipe. The prize is a donation to the winner’s local charity of their choice. On the closing night on 18 September, The Daily Tot will be hosting an exciting Negroni Speed Challenge featuring guest bartenders from six participating bars, while post-Negroni Week, Tell Camellia will continue its charitable spirit in support of Women for Women from 21 September onwards (read below for more information).
So, if you’re on the hunt for the best and most creative negroni this month, join Gafencu and in this global movement of drinking for a cause and see our top picks of negronis and where to try them.
Mexican-inspired craft cocktail bar Coa, no. 1 on Asia’s 50 Best Bar list for the second year running, is highlighting its Cacao Husk Rosita (HK$120) for this year’s Negroni Week. Featuring a mix of Cacao husk, Campari, Vermouth blend and Tequila Reposado for a complex blend that will surely satisfy classic Negroni lovers.
Argo is serving three styles of Negroni for this year’s Negroni Week. Aside from its original Single Origin Negroni, it will also be featuring recipes from their sister bars Virtù and BKK Social. Its Single Origin Negroni is a mix of Cascara Gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, habanero, and Hulu Gali cacao aged in cocoa pods from Malaysia, serving up a subtly chocolate tipple.
What’s better than sipping on a classic cocktail? Sipping on a classic cocktail with an idyllic view of Victoria Harbour. The city’s beloved Aqua bar and restaurant sits in its new abode on the 17th floor of the H Zentre in Tsim Sha Tsui. It will be serving a Japanese-inspired Negroni, Negroni N5 (HK$120) throughout Negroni Week. Crafted with bittersweet Campari, paired with genmaicha infused tequila, Aperol, red vermouth and mind-blowing umami bitters topped with a green tea surprise.
Over at Rosewood Hong Kong, the city’s timeless monument to rare aged spirits DarkSide calls for cacao lovers with its newly crafted UmeNegroni (HK$170). Mixed with chocolate Campari, plantation dark rum (instead of gin), plum sake, Mancino rosso vermouth, plum bitters and myrrh drops, this is an unusually sweet but delicious iteration of the classic punchy cocktail.
Although Jordan isn’t always a location that springs to mind when on the hunt for the best cocktails, Eaton HK’s Terrible Baby makes the journey worth it. Not to be missed this Negroni Week, the bar will be stirring up a selection of four Negroni riffs, each (HK$100) to satisfy different tastes .
Negroni Clasico, a classic recipe of dry gin, Campari and sweeth vermouth; Terrible Negroni, featuring a splash of Aperol; Tropic-Thunder, a Garibaldi-style for a sweeter alternative that boasts a fruity mix of honey, orange and passion fruit, served in a flute; and our personal favourite, the Four’s Style Negroni, an innovative house cration of Terrible Rum Blend with bitters, spices and shiso leaf all aged in clay pot for three months for a balanced and smooth finish.
Our favourite Carribbean rum-focused bar on Hollywood Road, The Daily Tot substitutes gin for – you guessed it – rum. Highlighting the Popcorn Pandan Negroni ($120), a pandan-infused dark rum, with popcorn-infused vermouth and Campari, the tipple is a blend of sweet, bitter and nutty. In addition, its signature Banana Negroni (HK$130) – a sweet, rum-based negroni that uses Flor de Caña 7yrs, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Caramelised Banana and Clarified Banana, will also be on offer alongside recipes from its sister bars: Barcode, Tell Camellia and the recently opened house of Vermouth bar and restaurant Bianco & Rosso, mix of B&R Negroni Beefeater Gin, Campri, PunteMes, cedarwood essential oil and lemon zest.
Keep watch! For the closing of Negroni Week on 18 September, The Daily Tot will host six guest bartenders from participating bars, including Terrible Baby, Bella Lee and Tell Camelia in a friendly Negroni Speed Challenge. Come and cheer your favourite bartender as they mix, shake and serve up Negronis as fast as they can.
Famed for their tea-cocktails, Tell Camellia will be offering two technical renditions of a tea-negroni. Spiced Teagroni ($120) is a rum-based twist made with spiced tea while the Sencha & Shiso Negroni ($130) is made with redistilled sencha tea gin, shiso-infused vermouth, and Campari for a zesty, bittersweet riff of the classic Negroni.
But it doesn’t stop there! On 21 from 7pm onwards, Tell Camellia will be hosting Singular Concepts Guest Shift. Presenting a stage for four bartenders from each of Singular Concepts’ venues: Barcode, Daily Tot, Bianco & Rosso and Tell Camellia, each of the bar’s representative will throw their shakers together in support of Women For Women, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides practical and moral support to female survivors of war. For each cocktail sold, HK$10 will go to the foundation to help women who are victims of war.