7 Different Takes on the Classic Negroni If You’re Not over Negronis Yet

February 6, 2018

In the past few years, we started hearing more often the classic yet then under-appreciated Negroni being ordered in bars. Besides it being a cocktail that maximizes alcohol without sacrificing taste (useful for those on a budget who still want to get buzzed) because of its high alcohol content, it also became the drink that cocktail drinkers knew about and understood. It’s not the easiest drink for anyone to like, with the signature bitterness that Campari imparts, but is easy enough to get into if you have the taste for it.

Negronis likely hit their peak amongst the hip metropolitan millennial market when Aziz Ansari popularized it on his hit TV show Master of None. This inclusion is either an acknowledgement of their cool status, or a signifier of the death of its cool, much like the appearance of any restaurant on an Anthony Bourdain show. Either way, the Negroni is, as Mark Ellwood put it, a “zeitgeist-defining cocktail” of our generation, making its way as a staple on cocktail menus next to the Manhattan and Martini.

Here are 7 versions of the Negroni from some of our favorite Manila-based bars:

A Toda Madre – Mezcal Negroni

We’ve previously mentioned our love for mezcal, and what better place to get a taste of the premium agave liquor than at our local tequila bar. If you’re just learning to appreciate its intense smokey flavor, try it first in a Negroni at A Toda Madre. Its dry and smokey character can best be appreciated in this drink when you hold it in for half a breath, and while it has a strong bitterness (as Negronis are wont to have), it ends in a sweet aftertaste.

Black Pig – Galleon Trade Negroni

Black Pig partnered with The Curator for a menu of cocktails including this so-called Galleon Trade Negroni, which uses sherry as a base. The result is a Negroni that is on the thicker side in sweetness and with delightful cherry undertones.

Cartel Deli – Cold Brew Negroni

If you’re just starting your night, Cold Brew Negroni #1 at Cartel Deli is a good place to do it. The drink makes use of cold brew by Yardstick (the deli’s in-house café) that perks you up for a long night ahead. Their subtle and sippable cocktail starts out dry and clean, and follow up with a bitter-twinged coffee taste.

Niner Ichi Nana – White Negroni

For those that find typical Negronis on the bitter side, the white Negroni is your answer. As it makes use of the sweet white vermouth over the bitter red, the drink is mellower, sweeter, and has vanilla and melon undertones that hang out in your mouth then dissipate dryly in a smoke of flavor. It’s still a mature drink that’s light on the palate.

Vengo Neighborhood Café – Allora Spritz

Vengo Neighborhood Café’s bar-side offers signature cocktails including the Allora Spritz, named after the aforementioned TV show (Aziz Ansari famously entered the Italian word allora into the modern lexicon in the same Master of None season as he revealed his penchant for Negronis). The drink is essentially a spritz version of the negroni, making for a lighter and sprightly drink.

Tomatito – Stuart Negroni

The recipe for this Stuart Negroni comes from the original Tomatito in Shanghai, where it was developed. It uses a rye whiskey base instead of gin that provides a more mellow and sweet experience of the drink. It’s a great cocktail to get if you can’t decide between an Old Fashioned and a Negroni.

Yes Please – Tommy Lee

The Tommy Lee is a fun and bubbly take on the Negroni, literally. Yes Please uses a Perlini carbonating cocktail shaker to give the final product into a fun, soda fizz. This makes the cocktail more refreshing and gulpable.

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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