Negroni Week: when bitter just got bigger and better


Negroni Week returns to Singapore for its fourth edition from 4 to 10 June this year, and sees some 70 bars participating for a bigger, better – and more bitter – celebration.

Fans of the Negroni, rejoice – Negroni Week hits this week so expect to see main sponsor Campari paint the town red with the classic Italian aperitif. In fact Negroni Week 2018 looks to be even bigger and better this year, with over 70 Singapore bars participating as compared to around 50 last year and 30 in 2016.

Like every year each participating bar and restaurant will pledge at least $1 to a charity of their choice for every Negroni cocktail or Negroni-inspired creation sold so the chance that more money is raised for good is even higher this year. For those who don’t know, Negroni Week first started in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine in the United States to galvanise the bar scene towards a charitable purpose; it has since exploded into a celebration of one of the cocktail world’s most laudable efforts for good even as the movement has spread like wildfire across the globe – to date, Negroni Week have collectively raised close to $1.5 million for charitable causes.

And while the classic Negroni is pretty much de-rigueur on cocktail menus in bars across Singapore, for this week at least expect to see the originally gin-Campari-vermouth tipple reinvented into more modern, inspired concoctions as well. At CÉ LA VI, a Negroni Week stalwart, their Barrel Aged Negroni again makes a comeback – the concoction of Campari, gin and red vermouth is aged in an oak barrel for a more intense, wooded overtone. CÉ LA VI will be donating $2 from each cocktail sold to Red Cross Society Singapore.

Another strong supporter of Negroni Week is Tess Bar & Kitchen; here bartender Christyne Lee (top picture) combines Campari, gin, and a homemade lychee-infused vermouth for I Have A Dream – $3 of each cocktail goes towards the Straits Time School Pocket Money Fund.

Then there’s the newly opened minimalist bar Fancy, which joins Negroni Week for the first time with a modern twist on the classic Negroni and Americano by bartender Sin Kim Shin (pictured above). His contemporary take is the Rosella, accentuating the rich bitterness of Campari with the citrus of grapefruit and herbal notes of rosemary. Fancy will be donating $1 from each cocktail sold to Trigger’s Toys, a charity that provides toys and therapy items to all hospitalized children in need.

For those looking for a fun challenge, the Iberico Negoni by Gibson principal bartender Gento Torigata infuses Iberico ham in Mezcal and then uses that in lieu of gin for a savoury, rich concoction. Gibson will be donating $1 per cocktail to The New Charis Mission, an organisation that helps the elderly, at-risk youth, and former offenders through convict rehabilitation. Also benefiting The New Charis Mission is Caffe Fernet with the Nonna On Fleek by bartender Cherrie Soh; her classic puts together Campari, gin, and Antica Formula vermouth but comes with a flourish of herb smoke and a garnish of olive tapenade on a parmesan crisp. How very Italian.

Also from 6 to 9 June, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall (6 June), Mona Lounge (7 June), The Wall (8 June) and Amrith (9 June) will take turns to host shifts featuring guest bartenders from each of the other bars. Each guest shift is themed and will run from 7pm to 12am, featuring a different guest bartender for each hour – a fun way to enjoy Negroni Week in one evening without having to do a tipsy bar crawl across town.

So here’s to a bitter end to this week, cocktail lovers.