Top 10: Best Negronis in London You Must TryBy Alicia Grimshaw
Looking for the best Negronis in London? Look no further! The classic Negroni, as we know it, was first created in Florence in 1919 by the flamboyant Count Camillo Negroni. Tradition tells that Count Negroni, inspired by his recent trip to England, asked his bartender to strengthen his classic Americano by replacing the soda water with gin and thus the Negroni was born. Enough with the history lesson, we’ve discovered the best Negronis you should be sipping in the capital this May:
The Cocktail: Artichoke Negroni
The Blend: Daffy’s gin, Campari, vermouth blend and artichoke infusion
The Story: Rich Woods is the Willy Wonka of the cocktail world. His off-the-wall, wacky creations always come out on top. Channel your inner Charlie and take the glass lift to the 40th floor and sample the latest cocktail menu: Drink your Greens. The menu is a celebration of veggies; Rich has taken a variety of your five a day, and turned them into liquid form. The Artichoke Negroni is one of the best Negronis in London – it has a subtle flavour, with the artichoke notes coming through after the first couple of sips. Other cocktails on the menu include; Beetroot and Chocolate Royalé, Celeriac and Bee Pollen Bellini, and the Manhattan Roast, which tastes like a liquidised carvery. We dig it.
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
The Cocktail: The Scented Negroni (£14)
The Blend: Tanqueray Ten, Martini Rosso, Campari, DRY Martini Droplets and Mediterranean Rosemary
The Story: For a cool, stylish bar coupled with a unique heritage, Dry Martini by Javier de las Muelas is a must this weekend. The bar is the little sister to Dry Martini located in Barcelona and is home to more than 100 types of martini – come here for some of the best Negronis in London. This is the only Dry Martini bar in the UK – come and see cocktail beauty in all its glory. Here, you’ll find recreations of classic cocktails as well as Javier de las Muelas signature cocktails. The Scented Negroni is served and infused with fresh herbs, giving a spring feel to this timeless classic cocktail for the seasonal period; welcoming the longer nights of spring in style.
Where: Melia White House, Albany St, Regent’s Park, London NW1 3UP, UK
Photo Credit: Dry Martini Organisation
The Cocktail: Rowan Berry Negroni (£10)
The Blend: Gin, Rowan Berry Liqueur and bitters
The Story: Rok Smokehouse has recently launched their very own cocktail bar – Below the Smoke. The drinks at Below the Smoke are broadly reflective of the philosophy applied to the menu at Rok, which draws upon techniques such as brining, pickling and smoking and applying them to top quality British ingredients. The bar features a range of ten cocktails on rotation, which, like the upstairs menu, evolve with the seasons. A selection of classic cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and wines from the upstairs restaurant are also available. The Rowan Berry Negroni is an alternative twist on the popular classic substituting Rowan Berry Liqueur in place of Campari. Try the Spiced Rye Sour, Rok’s very own spiced rye with an almond shrub combined with Palo cortado sherry and lemon juice.
Where: Below the Smoke at Rök Smokehouse and bar, 26 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NY
Photo Credit: Charlie McKay
The Cocktail: Dirty Bones Negroni (£8)
The Blend: Aperol, Lillet Rouge and Bombay Sapphire Gin
The Story: Dirty Bones is a place where the deep American South meets Kensington and Kingly Court. Known for their notorious Mac daddy burger and steak and eggs, the team also rustle up a fine array of heady concoctions – and secretly one of the best Negronis in London. They’ve given their own Dirty Bones spin to a number of popular tipples, including the Dirty Bones Martini, a killer combination of olive oil washed Bombay Sapphire gin, Lillet Blanc and Halkidiki olives. No worries if you can’t make it down to Dirty Bones this weekend, they have recently rolled out their High Fives and Good Vibes Happy Hour (Carnaby Mon-Fri 3-7pm and Kensington Tues-Fri 5-7pm) with the Dirty Bones Negroni included in the £5 dirty cocktail and beer specials.
Where: Locations here
The Cocktail: French Negroni (£8)
The Blend: Grey Goose L’Orange, Suze French bitters and Noilly Prat Rouge
The Story: Cafe Pistou brings a slice of southeastern France to the capital. Located in Exmouth Market, this quaint French brasserie knocks up small plates at dinner along with a weekday and weekend brunch menu. Here, it’s about ‘sunshine food’ bringing across the fresh and vibrant flavours that Provençal France is so well known for. Drop by for their weekend brunch for a plate of salt cod croquettes. What’s better than a couple of salt cod croquettes? Croquettes served alongside their French Negroni – one of the best Negronis in London if you like a French twist. The drink is ultimate French take on a very Italian classic, this perfectly balanced cocktail is a mix of subtly sweet GREY GOOSE L’Orange with a dash of aromatic Suze French bitters and Noilly Prat Rouge. Served in miniature bottle to pour over ice, this sophisticated signature is garnished with a grapefruit twist
Where: Café Pistou, 8-10 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QA
The Cocktail: Negroni (£8)
The Blend: Beefeater, Campari and Sweet Vermouth
The Story: POLPO takes its inspiration from the bacaros of Venice. A bacaro is a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines. The team offer tasty small plates, Prosecco and Spritz in a setting that reflects the gloriously faded elegance of Venice, and the of charms of its backstreet wine bars. Alongside their European food selection, the cocktail menu is a drinkers paradise. You can’t go wrong with the Elderflower Martini – a glorious combination of vodka, elderflower, vermouth extra dry and lime juice. But it’s their Negroni that’s an absolute must. The team have kept it simple and stuck to three ingredients. Sometimes, you can’t go wrong with a well executed straightforward drink.
Where: Locations here
The Cocktail: Classico Negroni (£7)
The Blend: Gin, Vermouth and Italian Bitters
The Story: From the godfather of the drinks world, Tony Conigliaro has created a range of four premium aged negronis for his popular Soho haunt, Bar Termini. Tony and the team first began aging cocktails in 2004, well before it became common practice, using the innovative sous-vide method. Each of the four flavours have their own characters, with the Rosato (rose-petal infused), Classico (classic), Superiore (pink peppercorn infused) and the Robusto (a deeper, intense negroni) – all suiting a different palate. Each has been pre-bottled, and served from the freezer straight up in elegant bespoke glassware – not your typical clunky tumbler with ice, meaning no further dilution. This is one for true Negroni enthusiasts, and without a doubt one of the best Negronis in London.
Where: 7 Old Compton St, London W1D 5JE
The Cocktail: Smoky Negroni (£12.50)
The Blend: Hakushu 12 yrs whisky, Japanese plum sake, Campari, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Ardbeg 10 yrs mist
The Story: Hakkasan was founded in London in 2001. Known for being the pioneers of the high-end Chinese world, Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee use fresh local ingredients to ensure his contemporary dishes retain the essence of conventional Cantonese cuisine. Let’s talk less about the food, and more about the drinks, because they deserve recognition, too. From the Rhubarb Margarita to the Ginger Cooler and Lychee Martini – the menu encompasses a mass of global flavours. The Smokey Negroni is punchy, potent, and the perfect companion to the crispy duck salad.
Where: 7 Bruton St, London W1J 6QB
The Cocktail: Bianca Negroni (£10)
The Blend: Bombay Dry, Cinzano Bianco and orange bitters
The Story: Osteria opened in the Barbican Centre in February 2016 by Searcys in collaboration with Anthony Demetre. Not only do they do some of the best Negronis in London, led by Head Chef Patrick Leano, the menus change regularly and focus on Italian produce and seasonality. Have a truly Italian cocktail list with a full list of Negronis working with heritage brands including Campari, Aperol and Averna. The list includes classic styles and negronis ‘with a twist’ such as the Amber Negroni which replaces the traditional sweet vermouth and Campari with Braulio and Lillet. Try the Bianca for a fruity Negroni, or the Classico if you’re after the more traditional combination.
Where: Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS
The Cocktail: Carpe Diem Negroni (£9.50)
The Blend: Cocchi Barolo Chinato fortified wine and Punico Zahare liqueur
The Story: If you want something special, here you’ll find some of the best Negronis in London. This May, enjoy the World’s Largest Collection of Negroni cocktails and #RediscoverRed at The Negroni Bar, by Campari from 11th – 21st May. Taking over the iconic Red Gallery in Shoreditch, The Negroni Bar will feature the largest selection of Negroni’s in the world, inviting guests to choose from over thirty different combinations and flavours. From the Carpe Diem Negroni made with Cocchi Barolo Chinato fortified wine and Punico Zahare liqueur, to the Tu Vuò Fa’ L’Americano with sweet Vermouth and Pale Ale Beer there is something to suit every palate as each variant brings a new twist to the classic cocktail, with Campari as the central ingredient throughout.
Where: 1-3 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DT